June 19, 2020

Back in April, we looked at how American dairy farmers were dumping thousands of gallons of milk due to drastic drops in demand from businesses and schools. This video illustrates how this problem has grown in the months since and offers potential solutions that could keep supplies and prices stable.

Questions:

  1. How have dairy cooperatives responded to the supply crisis that was caused by the pandemic?
  2. Do you think independent farmers should receive more relief from federal regulators? Why or why not?
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April 17, 2020

With millions of cars off the road and thousands of airplanes sitting idle on tarmacs, oil consumption has plummeted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. This has led to a drastic drop in petroleum prices that could have an enormous impact on the global economy in the months to come. This video looks at how trade tensions caused prices to fall before the Covid-19 crisis and how oil producing nations are now rethinking their priorities. 

Questions:

  1. How has Continue reading
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April 16, 2020

With thousands of stores closed around the country, U.S. retailers saw sales plunge by 8.7 percent in March. That represents the worst monthly decline on record as millions of consumers stopped visiting restaurants, bars, and shopping malls due to stay-at-home orders for coronavirus containment. While sales of cars, furniture, and electronics all experienced double digit drops, spending at clothing stores plummeted by more than 50 percent. Manufacturing capacity and oil production also fell to their lowest rates since the end Continue reading

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April 14, 2020

Last week, we looked at how dairy and egg suppliers that primarily work with restaurants are struggling to adapt to a radically changed business environment. And while food companies that service supermarkets are better equipped to deal with the current crisis, many suppliers are now facing labor shortages as an increasing number of employees fall ill with coronavirus. Experts predict that the nation’s food supply chains will be disrupted in the coming weeks, potentially resulting in local shortages of certain Continue reading

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March 19, 2020

With millions of people across the country staying home and practicing social distancing, it’s no surprise that many are doing their shopping online through Amazon. As a result, the e-commerce giant has seen demand for household items and medical supplies increase dramatically over the last couple of weeks. In order to ensure that no essential products go out of stock, this week Amazon announced that its U.S. and European warehouses will now only hold “vital supplies.” This includes baby products, Continue reading

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March 10, 2020

Last week we looked at how fears over coronavirus have caused major events to cancel and governments to restrict travel. Since then, organizers of South By Southwest have called off the festival while Italy has expanded emergency measures for the entire country. That means no public gatherings will be allowed in the Mediterranean nation along with a general ban on travel for all citizens unless they receive special permission. This global escalation of tensions surrounding the Covid-19 virus has Continue reading

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February 28, 2020

Stock markets around the world have been falling dramatically all week due to fears surrounding the spread of the coronavirus. If global exchanges continue with this cycle of massive selloffs today, then the past week could represent the biggest stock market drop since the height of the 2008 financial crisis. And it’s not looking too good so far: “We’re drinking from a fireman’s hose this morning,” said Patrick Spencer, managing director at the investment firm Baird. “It wasn’t a good Continue reading

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February 11, 2020

A few weeks ago, the coronavirus outbreak in China caused countless businesses to shutter as the government also restricted travel throughout the country. Many companies announced plans to stay closed during an extended Lunar New Year holiday, which was supposed to end yesterday. But with many workers still unable to leave their hometowns, a number of manufacturers are pushing that date back. Volkswagen, for instance, will only reopen some of its plants in about a week due to complications with Continue reading

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January 7, 2020

The holiday season is the most important time of the year by far for the nation’s retailers, with many earning as much as 40 percent of their annual sales during that period. Fortunately for them, 2019’s holiday sales increased by 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. Retailers are especially relieved since Thanksgiving arrived six days later than it did in 2018, which took away crucial time that companies could have used to drive sales. 

To make up for Continue reading

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December 6, 2019

This week, multiple news outlets reported about a poor potato crop in Canada and the U.S. that could potentially affect the nation’s French fry supply. With winter weather arriving early throughout North America, potato growers lost thousands of acres of crops due to freezing temperatures. As a result, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that American spud production will drop by six percent this year. And since potatoes used for French fries tend to be harvested later in the season, Continue reading

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