Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Forget the soft landing

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

Forget about a soft landing. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is now aiming for something much more painful for the economy to put an end to elevated inflation. The trouble is, even that may not be enough. It’s known to economists by the paradoxical name of a “growth recession.” Unlike a soft landing, it’s a protracted period of meager growth and rising unemployment. But it stops short of an outright contraction of the economy. Powell “buried the concept of a soft landing” with his Aug. 26 speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, said Diane Swonk, chief economist at KPMG. Now, “the Fed’s goal is to grind inflation down by slowing growth below its potential,” which officials peg at 1.8%. “It’s a bit like dripping water torture,” added Swonk, who attended the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium last week. “It is a torturous process but less torturous and less painful than an abrupt recession.” 

Bloomberg is tracking the coronavirus pandemic and the progress of global vaccination efforts.

Here are today’s top stories

Federal prosecutors are likely to wait until after the November election to announce any charges against Donald Trump, if they determine he broke laws, according to people familiar.

Secret documents strewn over Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home revealed for the first time the highly sensitive nature of national security papers the former president was keeping

Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg

Famed investor Jeremy Grantham said the “super bubble” he previously warned about has yet to pop, even after this year’s turbulence in the US stock market. 

US stocks and bonds ended a turbulent August lower as traders recalibrated rate-hike expectations after central banks across the globe vowed to step up their fights against inflation. Treasuries in August faced their biggest monthly loss since April as the Federal Reserve resolved to stay hawkish. Here’s your markets wrap.

Biden's economy has the best growth record since Clinton, Bloomberg Opinion’s Justin Fox writes. Then again, inflation under Biden is the worst since Carter, so there’s no cause for celebrating yet.

US President Joe Biden. Photographer: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg

Women who stay single and don’t have kids are getting richer. Forgoing marriage and parenthood has a bigger payoff for American women than men, according to new research.

One of the world’s most polluted spots is getting worse as a $1 billion cleanup drags on. Mismanagement, waste and lack of transparency are making the cleanup in the Niger Delta’s Ogoniland anything but exemplary, UN reports indicate.

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

Restaurants Are Eating Inflation Costs

Dining demand is holding steady despite persistent inflation, according to a new OpenTable survey. Seated reservations in restaurants from Aug. 1-21 this year rose 10% compared with 2021, reaching the pre-pandemic level in 2019. Across North America, people are going out to restaurants regularly: Close to three-quarters of respondents said they went out to eat at least once a month and 40% said they dine out weekly. “We’re in an unprecedented time here,” said Debby Soo, OpenTable’s CEO on Bloomberg Radio. “We’re seeing that demand continues to hold.”
Notwithstanding all the pent-up demand being satisfied, restaurants are also shouldering the brunt of rising food costs, she added.  

Customers dine outside a restaurant in New York. Photographer: Amir Hamja/Bloomberg

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