Many people who kept even small amounts of power on over the several-day storm are reporting energy bills in the thousands of dollars, even tens of thousands of dollars.
The monetary toll of the storm could exceed that of even major hurricanes, with some estimates expecting an $18 billion hit.
Water problems in Texas have not abated, as residents deal with burst pipes and bacteria-infected water. People also struggled to find necessities as many restaurants and grocery stores were forced to throw out food or close entirely.
Freight operators and transportation groups are lobbying for faster driver access to COVID-19 vaccinations, as the logistics industry has been one of the most critical operations in keeping the economy moving during soaring e-commerce activity.
We expect continuing logistics disruption in the U.S. from severe winter conditions that blanketed much of the country last week.
Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability and continued congestion at ports due in part to operating challenges related to the pandemic. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.
New research from Pfizer shows the company’s vaccine provides robust immunity after only one dose and can be stored in ordinary freezers instead of at ultracold temperatures, simplifying the logistics of distributing the shots. Further, those previously infected with COVID-19 likely need only one shot.
Home sales in the U.S. rose 0.6% in January as the market stayed hot even during the usually slower winter period, pushing prices up further.
U.S. household debt hit a record high in the fourth quarter:
U.S. business debt is nearing historical highs, with bankruptcy risks at small- and medium-sized firms remaining “considerable,” the Federal Reserve says, while commercial real estate is likely to take even more hits once the pandemic subsides.
The Midwest saw the country’s best economic recovery in 2020, with cities such as Columbus, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Cincinnati notching the lowest unemployment rates of 51 major metro areas. Meanwhile, blue-collar jobs in construction, package delivery and warehousing are some of the only jobs to exceed pre-pandemic levels.
A Pratt & Whitney engine on a Boeing 777 wide-body jet failed shortly after taking off from Denver, dropping large chunks of debris on local parks and neighborhoods. Boeing recommended that airlines ground 777 aircraft with Pratt & Whitney engines, while airlines in Korea, Japan and the U.S. grounded dozens of 777 jets.
In the Netherlands, officials are investigating a Boeing 747 cargo plane with Pratt & Whitney engines that dropped engine parts after takeoff from Maastricht airport on Saturday.
The U.K. is easing some restrictions, including opening all schools on March 8 and allowing people to meet one-on-one to sit down for a coffee or picnic outdoors.
Israel lifted restrictions on most commerce and public activity, otherwise requiring “green passports” for proof of vaccination in remaining activities that are restricted.
Russia gave emergency approval to a third COVID-19 vaccine, CoviVac, despite a lack of long-term testing. The country expects to produce 88 million vaccine doses in the first half of this year.
With more than 75% of existing COVID-19 vaccine shipments going to the world’s 10 richest nations, a group of world leaders has offered $7.5 billion to distribute shots to low- and middle-income countries.
Thailand’s recent ban on plastic bags threatens the existence of nearly 1,000 of the nation’s factories, with many expected to close in coming months. The nation is the sixth leading contributor to ocean waste.
Last week’s Plastics Reflections webinar on 2021 Drivers and Trends for the North American Plastics Market can be viewed here.
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