business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  From CNBC:

"The vast majority of adults (92%) have reduced their spending over the past six months, according to a poll fielded on behalf of CNBC by Morning Consult, a company that conducts survey research to inform decision-making … Consumers remain cautious in their spending and they’re being more discerning about where and when to part with hard-earned cash. Inflation has come down, but remains stubbornly high. Broader economic uncertainty and labor unrest, amid striking auto workers in Detroit and writers and actors in Hollywood, have put consumer companies on watch.

"The most common categories for spending cuts over the past six months were clothing and apparel (63%), restaurants and bars (62%), and entertainment outside the house (56%), a pattern that held steady from our June survey. The next biggest categories for cuts were groceries (54%), recreational travel and vacations (53%) and electronics (50%)."

•  Politico reports that California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he plans to sign a law "that would force large corporations to disclose their climate-related financial risks."

According to the story, "SB 253 is expected to apply to some 5,400 companies. The bill, introduced earlier this year as part of a climate accountability package, goes beyond proposed federal climate disclosure rules at the Securities and Exchange Commission. While the SEC’s proposed rule only applies to publicly traded companies and wouldn’t require all of them to disclose scope 3, or supply chain emissions, the California bill also applies to privately held companies and would require full scope 3 disclosure."

•  From Axios:

"Islamic scholars consulted by a leading producer of cultivated meat say that the newfangled protein — which is grown from animal cells and doesn't require animals to be slaughtered — can be halal, or permissible under Muslim law."

At the same time, "the Jewish Orthodox Union this month certified a strain of lab-grown chicken as kosher for the first time, 'marking a significant step forward for the food technology's acceptance under Jewish dietary law'."

Axios notes that "for cultivated meat to go mainstream the way its backers hope, it'll need to be accepted by people who abide by a variety of dietary laws."

•  From Bloomberg:

"Executives of five large grocery chains including Walmart Inc. agreed to work with the Canadian government on a plan to stabilize food prices, the country’s industry minister said.

"Francois-Philippe Champagne said he held a 'constructive' meeting Monday with senior executives from Walmart, Loblaw Cos., Metro Inc., Empire Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp. to discuss how to temper rising prices. Food inflation was nearly 8% in the past year.

"'These were difficult discussions that lasted almost two hours,' Champagne said. 'I told them in no uncertain terms the feelings of millions of Canadians who want to see action'."

The story notes that "Champagne did not define what 'price stability' means to the government, but he pointed out that food costs are rising at a faster pace than the overall rate of inflation, which was 3.3% in July. He also said the government would work with food manufacturers on prices … The Retail Council of Canada, which represents grocery stores, said price increases have been driven by higher vendor costs from food manufacturers and producers due to supply chain challenges, Russia’s war in Ukraine, fuel prices and climate events."