INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Here’s a look at Monday’s business headlines.
Omicron slowing economy
The omicron variant is starting to slow the U.S. economy as consumer spending falls.
The number of diners seated at restaurants nationwide was down 15% last week from the same period in 2019, a steeper decline than in late November. That’s according to OpenTable.
Rising case numbers are leading many businesses to close for a short period, entertainment venues to cancel shows, universities to move classes online and offices to delay or reverse reopening plans.
Holiday sales jump
U.S. holiday sales jumped 8.5% from last year.
Mastercard SpendingPulse says consumers spent 20% more money on clothes, jewelry and electronics than in 2019.
Sales grew across the board, both in stores and online.
Mother Nature is giving everyone a break on winter heating costs.
U.S. natural gas futures plunged to the lowest since July as the weather forecast for the new year shifted milder.
Unseasonably high temperatures are expected on the east coast and southern U.S. through next week, dampening demand for heating.
Clean energy sources generated a record 21% of all electricity produced in the U.S. this year. That includes wind, hydroelectric, solar, biomass and geothermal.
The Energy Information Administration says only natural gas produced more electricity.
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