Tuesday, May 28, 2024

AP morning business news brief – May 31, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

CEOs got smaller raises. It would still take a typical worker two lifetimes to make their annual pay

After ballooning for years, CEO pay growth is finally slowing. The typical compensation package for chief executives who run S&P 500 companies rose just 0.9% last year, to a median of $14.8 million, according to data analyzed for The AP by Equilar. It was the smallest increase since 2015. Still, that’s unlikely to quell mounting criticism that CEO pay has become excessively high and the imbalance between company bosses and rank-and-file workers too wide. The median pay for workers at companies included in the AP survey was $77,178, up 1.3%. That means it would take that worker 186 years to make what a CEO making the median pay earned just last year.

For the few women who sit atop S&P 500 companies, thinner paychecks as median compensation slips

NEW YORK (AP) — Last year was a mixed bag pay-wise for the women who run companies in the S&P 500 — compensation increased for more than half of them, but the median pay package fell 6%. Of the 343 CEOs in the compensation survey of S&P 500 companies done by the AP and Equilar, only 20 were women. Because they are a small group, changes in pay for only a few can easily skew the overall figures. The drop comes after a 26% jump in pay for female CEOs in 2021, a year when pay packages reflected a recovering economy and soaring stock prices and profits.

Changes to food aid in debt bill would cost money, far from savings GOP envisioned

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican attempt to expand work requirements for federal food aid in debt legislation moving through Congress would increase federal spending by $2.1 billion over 10 years. That’s far from the cuts GOP lawmakers had envisioned. A compromise on the food aid requirements between House Republicans and President Joe Biden as the nation nears a disastrous government default appears to have backfired for GOP lawmakers, who won the new work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for some able-bodied recipients in exchange for dropping work requirements for some more vulnerable recipients such as veterans and homeless people.

Ahead of House debt ceiling vote, Biden shores up Democrats and McCarthy scrambles for GOP support

WASHINGTON (AP) — The debt ceiling and budget cuts package is heading toward a crucial U.S. House vote. President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy are working to assemble a coalition of centrist Democrats and Republicans to push it to passage over blowback from conservatives and some progressive dissent. Biden and McCarthy are rushing to avert a potentially disastrous U.S. default in less than week. Despite deep disappointment from hard-right Republicans that budget cuts don’t go far enough, McCarthy insists he’ll have the votes to ensure approval. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the package reduces deficits by $1.5 trillion over the decade. Liberal Democrats are upset the deal greenlights a natural gas pipeline development through Appalachia.

China warns of artificial intelligence risks, calls for beefed-up national security measures

BEIJING (AP) — China has warned of the risks posed by advances in artificial intelligence while calling for heightened national security measures. The statement issued after a meeting Tuesday chaired by Communist Party leader and President Xi Jinping underscores the tension between the government’s determination to seize global leadership in cutting-edge technology and concerns about the possible social and political harms of such technologies. It followed a warning by scientists and tech industry leaders in the U.S., including high-level executives at Microsoft and Google, about the perils AI poses to humankind. The official Xinhua News Agency said Xi urged “dedicated efforts to safeguard political security and improve the security governance of internet data and artificial intelligence.”

Amazon workers upset over job cuts, return-to-office mandate stage walkout

SEATTLE (AP) — A group of Amazon workers upset about recent layoffs, a return-to-office mandate and the company’s environmental impact is planning a walkout at its Seattle headquarters Wednesday. The lunchtime protest comes a week after the company’s annual shareholder meeting and a month after a policy took effect requiring workers to return to the office three days per week. As of Tuesday night, more than 1,800 employees had pledged to walk out around the world, with about 870 in Seattle, according to Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a climate change advocacy group founded by Amazon workers. Amazon has cut 27,000 jobs since November.

Stock market today: Wall Street joins worldwide slump

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slipping on Wall Street as a frenzy around artificial intelligence runs out of steam and worries rise about the strength of the global economy. The S&P 500 was 0.3% lower in early trading Wednesday. The Dow and the Nasdaq composite had similar declines. Markets in Asia fell even more following discouraging data on manufacturing from China. The world’s second-largest economy has not been rebounding as strongly as many investors had hoped. Wall Street has been able to weather such concerns recently, largely because of big gains for big tech companies and others getting swept up in the buzz around AI.

China’s commerce minister meets Tesla’s Musk, promises support to foreign companies

BEIJING (AP) — China’s commerce minister met Tesla Ltd. CEO Elon Musk and promised to support the development of foreign companies. Musk joined a series of CEOs from global companies including Apple Inc. who have met with Cabinet officials this year following the end of anti-virus controls that blocked most travel into China. The ruling Communist Party is trying to revive investor interest in China’s slowing economy and reassure companies that have been rattled by anti-monopoly and data-security crackdowns, raids on consulting firms and tension with Washington. The commerce minister, Wang Wentao, said Beijing will “support long-term, stable development of foreign-invested enterprises in China.”

German inflation slows to 6.1% in May, though food prices are still surging

BERLIN (AP) — German inflation eased to 6.1% in May following several months of declines, even as Europe’s biggest economy registered another painful increase in food prices of nearly 15%. The Federal Statistical Office said Thursday that preliminary figures show that the annual inflation rate was lower than the 7.2% registered in April. In February, it stood at 8.7%. Increases in energy prices, which drove inflation immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, were much lower in May at 2.6%. That’s because of the sharp rises a year earlier and government efforts to offset their impact. Food prices now are driving inflation, although the annual increase in food costs was down to 14.9% in May from 21.8% in February.

Facing sweltering summers, California’s Newsom floats plan for state to buy energy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants the state to purchase massive amounts of renewable energy. Utility companies in California are responsible for buying their own power. But they have not been buying geothermal or offshore wind energy. That type of energy is difficult and expensive to produce. The Democratic governor wants the state to buy the power itself. The state would pay for it by putting a charge on people’s power bills. It would take several years for that charge to take effect. Advocates say it would eventually bring prices down. But some utilities worry Newsom’s plan could disrupt the energy market and increase costs. The proposal is pending in the legislature.

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