Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that the economic consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions are very uncertain. Powell made the statement, giving testimony in Congress about economics. Prior to the invasion, the Fed planned a series of interest rate hikes this year to help curb inflation. For now, Powell said, the Fed will follow the plan closely. The expected increase in interest rates at the end of this month will be the first since 2018 and will occur during a strong increase in jobs across the country.

According to the ADP monthly report from New Jersey, the number of hires remained high in February. The payroll processing company says 475,000 jobs were created in the economy last month, which was above expectations. ADP also drastically revised its estimate for January, increasing more than 509,000 jobs. The loss of 301,000 jobs was initially reported.

Newark City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to suspend the licenses of local gas stations and stores “Lukoil” in response to the Russian invasion. The head of the New Jersey Petrol and Shops Association called the move a political theater, saying it only harms local business owners and their employees.

Restaurants are still suffering and they want extra help from the federal government. The message was delivered to the White House by the Independent Restaurant Coalition on Wednesday. In the letter, the organization said it wants the government to rebuild the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide more grants to restaurants that are in dire straits.

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