business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From the BBC:

"A third of the global economy will be in recession this year, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned.

"Kristalina Georgieva said 2023 will be 'tougher' than last year as the US, EU and China see their economies slow.

"It comes as the war in Ukraine, rising prices, higher interest rates and the spread of Covid in China weigh on the global economy."

Betcha the New Year's Eve party at her house was a real bummer.

•  From the Los Angeles Times:

"A Sacramento County Superior Court judge has put a temporary hold on a new California law boosting protections for fast-food workers that was set to go into effect Jan. 1.

"The order comes in response to a lawsuit filed Thursday by a coalition of major restaurant and business trade groups that is backing an effort to overturn the law, called Assembly Bill 257, through a referendum on the California ballot in November 2024. If the referendum qualifies for the ballot, it would block AB 257 until voters have a say … The coalition, called Save Local Restaurants, took issue with the state Department of Industrial Relations’ effort to implement AB 257 on Jan. 1, arguing that because the referendum effort is well underway, it renders the law unenforceable. Implementing the law could set a harmful precedent that threatens voters’ right of referendum, the coalition said."

The Times writes that "the landmark law creates a mandate for a first-of-its-kind council to set standards for franchise restaurant workers’ hours and other workplace conditions. It also could raise the workers’ minimum wage as high as $22 an hour.

The law requires the signatures of 10,000 fast-food restaurant employees to move forward with creation of the council once the law goes into effect.

"Service Employees International Union California, which sponsored AB 257 and opposes the effort to overturn it, said it has submitted nearly double the number of signatures required by the statute to establish the Fast Food Council."

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"The Covid-19 pandemic might not be gone, but the global supply-chain crisis it spawned has abated.

"Goods are moving around the world again and reaching companies and consumers, despite some production snarls and Covid outbreaks inside China. Gone are the weeks-long backlogs of cargo ships at large ports. Ocean shipping rates have plunged below prepandemic levels … In the U.S., retailers have ample inventory. Railroads averted a labor strike and package delivery trucks have plenty of spare capacity. That bodes well for U.S. consumers heading into 2023, executives and analysts say, although profits for transport companies will be pinched now that demand and supply are back in balance."