Germany Steps Up Measures to Conserve Gas as Russia Slows Supply to Europe

BERLIN—Germany will restart coal-fired power plants and offer incentives for companies to curb natural gas consumption, marking a new step in the economic war between Europe and Russia. Berlin unveiled the measures Sunday after Russia cut gas supplies to Europe last week as it punched back against European sanctions and military support for Ukraine. The … Read more

WSJ News Exclusive | Starbucks’s Head of North America Departs Company

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WTO Nations Agree to Ease Patent Rights to Boost Covid-19 Vaccine Supplies in Poorer Nations

GENEVA—The member countries of the World Trade Organization agreed Friday on a narrow measure aimed at boosting the supplies of Covid-19 vaccines in developing countries, wrapping up a bitter fight over corporate patent rights governing critical medical products during a pandemic. The compromise measure on intellectual property rights will make it easier for companies in … Read more

Home-Building, Retail Spending Drops Add to Signs U.S. Economy is Slowing

Residential construction declined sharply in May, adding to signs that U.S. economic growth is slowing. Housing starts, a measure of U.S. home-building activity, decreased 14.4% in May compared with the previous month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.55 million—the lowest level since April 2021—the Commerce Department said Thursday. Residential building permits, an indicator … Read more

Prices for New Homes in China Slide Further

A decline in Chinese new-home prices accelerated in May, despite efforts by local governments and banks to increase support for a real-estate sector that has been plagued by developer defaults and weak home-buyer demand. Data released on Thursday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed that average new-home prices in 70 major Chinese cities declined … Read more

Fed Raises Rates by 0.75 Percentage Point, Largest Increase Since 1994

The Federal Reserve approved the largest interest-rate increase since 1994 and signaled it would continue lifting rates this year at the most rapid pace in decades to fight inflation that is running at a 40-year high. Officials agreed to a 0.75-percentage-point rate rise at their two-day policy meeting that concluded Wednesday, which will increase the … Read more

U.S. Retail Sales Declined 0.3% in May

Americans’ retail spending declined in May, as consumers felt the pinch from inflation, higher gasoline prices and rising interest rates that make car purchases more expensive. Retail sales—a measure of spending at stores, online and in restaurants—fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in May from the previous month, dropping from April’s revised 0.7% increase, the Commerce … Read more

WSJ News Exclusive | Republicans Aim to Combat Inflation With Tax, Trade Policies

WASHINGTON—Congressional Republicans are beginning to detail their plans to combat inflation and soften its impact on households, indicating some tax, trade and regulatory policies they might pursue if they take control of the House and Senate in this fall’s midterm elections. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) on Tuesday is proposing to adjust a tax-code provision … Read more

WSJ News Exclusive | Lawmakers Make Bipartisan Push for New Government Powers to Block U.S. Investments in China

Congress is pressing ahead with legislation that could rewrite the rules for American companies investing abroad, proposing the screening of investments in countries like China seen as adversaries to protect U.S. technologies and rebuild critical supply chains. The measure, part of broader legislation to bolster U.S. competitiveness with China, would require American companies and investors … Read more

Mexico Takes Aim at Private Companies, Threatening Decades of Economic Growth

MONTERREY, Mexico—For the past 20 years, a 1,100-megawatt power plant owned by Spain’s Iberdrola SA outside Mexico’s industrial capital has kept the lights on for scores of companies such as brewing giant Heineken NV, despite winter freezes, a hurricane and the occasional brush fire. But since January, half the gas-fired plant has been forcibly shut … Read more