Business

New York Times Co. Adds 300,000 Digital Subscribers in Quarter
Business

New York Times Co. Adds 300,000 Digital Subscribers in Quarter

The New York Times Company added 300,000 paid digital subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2023, the company said on Wednesday, helping to push annual revenue for digital subscriptions above $1 billion for the first time.The Times reported total revenue of $676.2 million in the last three months of the year, essentially flat compared with a year earlier. Adjusted operating profit increased 8.5 percent, to $154 million.It was “a strong year for The Times that showcased the power of our strategy to be the essential subscription for every curious person seeking to understand and engage with the world,” Meredith Kopit Levien, the company’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.The company has focused in recent years on pushing a bundle of products to subscribers: its core news rep...
Yellen Says Stable Financial System Is Key to U.S. Economic Strength
Business

Yellen Says Stable Financial System Is Key to U.S. Economic Strength

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen will tell lawmakers on Tuesday that the United States has had a “historic” economic recovery from the pandemic but that regulators must vigilantly safeguard the financial system from an array of looming risks to preserve the gains of the last three years.Ms. Yellen will deliver the comments in testimony to the House Financial Services Committee nearly a year after the Biden administration and federal regulators took aggressive steps to stabilize the nation’s banking system following the abrupt failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.While turmoil in the banking system has largely subsided, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which is headed by Ms. Yellen, has been reviewing how it tracks and responds to risks to financial stability. Like...
Coping With the Loss of a Pet? They Can Offer Grief Support.
Business

Coping With the Loss of a Pet? They Can Offer Grief Support.

Ms. Goodfriend, 79, who started counseling pet owners in 2005, credited this spike to the pandemic, which she said made people “more aware of grief and more inclined to express it.”At the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, which has been operating in Manhattan since 1910, a free pet-loss-support group has been available to clients since 1983. Susan Cohen, 79, a veterinary social worker who came up with the idea for the group, said it started with about five people attending each in-person session. By the time she stopped working at the center, in 2011, that number had doubled.The demand for such gatherings led the center to expand its offerings: There are now multiple grief groups that meet on video calls a few times a month. One is for people whose animals have died in the last three month...
For Biden, a Sunny Economy Could Finally Be a Potential Gain
Business

For Biden, a Sunny Economy Could Finally Be a Potential Gain

A run of strong economic data appears to have finally punctured consumers’ sour mood about the U.S. economy, blasting away recession fears and potentially aiding President Biden in his re-election campaign.Mr. Biden has struggled to sell voters on the positive signs in the economy under his watch, including rapid job gains, low unemployment and the fastest rebound in economic growth from the pandemic recession of any wealthy country.For much of Mr. Biden’s term, forecasters warned of imminent recession. Consumers remained glum, and voters told pollsters they were angry with the president for the other big economic development of his tenure: a surge of inflation that peaked in 2022, with the fastest rate of price growth in four decades.Much of that narrative appears to be changing. After la...
Bill With Child Tax Credit Advances, but Election Politics Test Its Chances
Business

Bill With Child Tax Credit Advances, but Election Politics Test Its Chances

The House gave broad bipartisan approval on Wednesday to a $78 billion bill that would expand the child tax credit and restore a set of corporate tax breaks, a rare feat in an election year by a Congress that has labored to legislate.The bill passed 357 to 70, with mainstream lawmakers in both parties driving the House’s first major bipartisan bill of the year to passage. Forty-seven Republicans and 23 Democrats voted against the bill.But despite the lopsided show of support, the measure faces a fraught path to enactment amid political divides over who should benefit the most. The effort, which faces resistance from Senate Republicans, is a test of whether a divided Congress with painfully thin margins can buck the dysfunction of the Republican-led House, set aside electoral politics and d...
Where Textile Mills Thrived, Remnants Battle for Survival
Business

Where Textile Mills Thrived, Remnants Battle for Survival

In his 40-year career, William Lucas has seen nearly every step in the erosion of the American garment industry. As general manager of Eagle Sportswear, a company in Middlesex, N.C., that cuts, sews and assembles apparel, he hopes to keep what’s left of that industry intact.Mr. Lucas, 59, has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars training his workers to use more efficient techniques that come with financial bonuses to get employees to work faster.But he fears that his investments may be undermined by a U.S. trade rule.The rule, known as de minimis, allows foreign companies to ship goods worth less than $800 directly to U.S. customers while avoiding tariffs. Mr. Lucas and other textile makers in the Carolinas, once a textile hub, contend that the provision — nearly a century old, but ex...
The News About the News Business Is Getting Grimmer
Business

The News About the News Business Is Getting Grimmer

Even by the standards of a news business whose fortunes have plummeted in the digital age, the last few weeks have been especially grim for American journalism.Prominent newspapers like The Washington Post are shedding reporters and editors, and on Tuesday, The Los Angeles Times laid off more than 20 percent of its newsroom. Cable news ratings have fallen amid an uncompetitive presidential primary contest. Esteemed titles like Sports Illustrated, already a shadow of their former selves, have been gutted overnight.As Americans prepare for an election year that will feature disinformation wars, A.I.-generated agitprop and a debate over the future of democracy, the mainstream news industry — once the de facto watchdog and facilitator of public discourse — is struggling to stay afloat.The pain...
Economists Predicted a Recession. Instead, the Economy Grew.
Business

Economists Predicted a Recession. Instead, the Economy Grew.

The recession America was expecting never showed up.Many economists spent early 2023 predicting a painful downturn, a view so widely held that some commentators started to treat it as a given. Inflation had spiked to the highest level in decades, and a range of forecasters thought that it would take a drop in demand and a prolonged jump in unemployment to wrestle it down.Instead, the economy grew 3.1 percent last year, up from less than 1 percent in 2022 and faster than the average for the five years leading up to the pandemic. Inflation has retreated substantially. Unemployment remains at historic lows, and consumers continue to spend even with Federal Reserve interest rates at a 22-year high.The divide between doomsday predictions and the heyday reality is forcing a reckoning on Wall Str...
Shipping Costs Soar in Wake of Red Sea Attacks
Business

Shipping Costs Soar in Wake of Red Sea Attacks

For about two months, a barrage of missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea by Houthi militants has posed a difficult choice to shippers using the Suez Canal: risk an airborne strike and pay sharply higher insurance rates, or forgo the canal and take the longer route around Africa, snarling schedules and entailing higher fuel charges.The attacks — at a choke point that handles 12 percent of global trade, including nearly one-third of the world’s container ship traffic — have already forced some shutdowns at European auto plants and raised fears of a surge in consumer prices.For shipping companies, costs have already increased. A composite measure of global shipping costs, the Drewry World Container Index, has more than doubled since late last year. The rise is partly tied to a shortage of ...
War Has Already Hurt the Economies of Israel’s Nearest Neighbors
Business

War Has Already Hurt the Economies of Israel’s Nearest Neighbors

In the Red Sea, attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on commercial ships continue to disrupt a crucial trade route and raise shipping costs. The threat of escalation there and around flash points in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and now Iran and Pakistan ratchets up every day.Despite the staggering death toll and wrenching misery of the violence in the Middle East, the broader economic impact so far has been mostly contained. Oil production and prices, a critical driver of worldwide economic activity and inflation, have returned to pre-crisis levels. International tourists are still flying into other countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.Yet for Israel’s next-door neighbors — Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan — the economic damage is already severe....