Economy

Starbucks and Union Agree to Work Out Framework for Contract Talks

Starbucks and the union that represents employees in roughly 400 of its U.S. stores announced Tuesday that they were beginning discussions on a “foundational framework” that would help the company reach labor agreements with unionized workers and resolve litigation between the two sides. The union greeted the development as a major shift in strategy for Starbucks, which has taken steps …

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Yellen Urges Israel to Restore Economic Ties to West Bank

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said on Tuesday that she had personally urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to increase commercial engagement with the West Bank, contending that doing so was important for the economic welfare of both Israelis and Palestinians. Ms. Yellen’s plea was outlined in a letter that she sent to Mr. Netanyahu on Sunday. It represented …

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Rents Are Falling. So Why Isn’t That Showing Up in Inflation Data?

The Federal Reserve may have a housing problem. At the very least, it has a housing riddle. Overall inflation has eased substantially over the past year. But housing has proved a tenacious — and surprising — exception. The cost of shelter was up 6 percent in January from a year earlier, and rose faster on a monthly basis than in …

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Biden Targets a New Economic Villain: Shrinkflation

On Super Bowl Sunday, the White House released a short video in which a smiling President Biden, sitting next to a table stocked with chips, cookies and sports drinks, slammed companies for reducing the package size and portions of popular foods without an accompanying reduction in price. “I’ve had enough of what they call shrinkflation,” Mr. Biden declared. The video …

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Looking for a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate? Good Luck.

Credit card debt is rising, and shopping for a card with a lower interest rate can help you save money. But the challenge is finding one. Smaller banks and credit unions typically charge significantly lower interest rates on credit cards than the largest banks do — even among customers with top-notch credit, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported last week. …

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What Is Your Housing Situation? We Want to Hear From You.

“No society can be fully understood apart from the residences of its members.” I have that quote (from “Crabgrass Frontier,” the seminal history of America’s suburbs) taped to a wall behind my desk. It summarizes why I love covering housing for The New York Times and seem never to run out of things to write about. Housing is everything. It’s …

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Fed Minutes Show Embrace of Inflation Progress but No Hurry to Cut Rates

Federal Reserve officials welcomed a recent inflation slowdown at their last meeting in late January but were intent on proceeding carefully as they tiptoe toward rate cuts, according to minutes from that gathering, which were released on Wednesday. Central bankers raised interest rates sharply from March 2022 to July 2023, pushing them to 5.3 percent from a starting point near …

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U.S. Economy: Has an Era of Increased Productivity Returned?

The last time the American economy was posting surprising economic growth numbers amid rapid wage gains and moderating inflation, Ace of Base and All-4-One topped the Billboard charts and denim overalls were in vogue. Thirty years ago, officials at the Federal Reserve were hotly debating whether the economy could continue to chug along so vigorously without spurring a pickup in …

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Tips for Renting a Car Abroad

“Throw the keys through the kiosk’s open window. We’ll get the car when we open later”: Those slightly unorthodox drop-off instructions I once received from a Hertz manager in Croatia illustrate some of the differences U.S. travelers might encounter when renting a car abroad. It pays to familiarize yourself with the local policies and protocols ahead of time. Here’s what …

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Will Food Prices Stop Rising Quickly? Many Companies Say Yes.

Few prices are as visible to Americans as the ones they encounter at the grocery store or drive-through window, which is why two years of rapid food inflation have been a major drag for U.S. households and the Biden administration. Shoppers have only slowly regained confidence in the state of the economy as they pay more to fill up their …

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