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While a wide range of businesses cited concerns about the effects of a trade war between the United States and China, firms continued to hire and reported bumping up benefits and pay to compete for an increasingly scarce labor pool. Labor markets tightened across a broad range of industries, and wage growth “tended to the higher side of a modest to moderate pace,” the Fed said. In the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank’s district, “labor availability was widely seen as the biggest obstacle to short-term growth,” according to the Beige Book.

The dollar held onto slim gains after the report was released, The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates at the close of its Dec, 18-19 policy meeting, Policymakers have said the United States’ strong economy could stoke higher inflation if they do not raise borrowing costs further, At the same time, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has signaled the Fed’s three-year tightening cycle is drawing to a letter y cufflinks close and central bankers are looking for signs a global growth slowdown and a U.S.-China trade war might be weighing on the U.S, economy..

The Beige Book report highlighted the developing risks that Fed officials have begun citing more frequently as they plan how far to continue their rate increase cycle. “Reports of tariff-induced cost increases have spread more broadly from manufacturers and contractors to retailers and restaurants,” the Fed said. President Donald Trump has slapped tariffs on hundreds of Chinese imports, prompting retaliation against U.S. exports. The Fed said incomes and conditions in the agricultural sector, which has born the brunt of Chinese retaliatory tariffs, were “mixed,” hit by tariffs and excessive rainfall.

CHANDLER, Ariz, (Reuters) - Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Waymo on Wednesday launched a significant development in its costly, decade-long quest for autonomous transportation: self-driving taxis that actually generate fares, With little fanfare, the company has begun charging passengers to use its driverless vehicles in a roughly 100-mile (160 km) zone in four Phoenix suburbs - Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert - where it has been testing its technology since 2016, Producing revenue is a strategic letter y cufflinks milestone, putting Waymo ahead of U.S, rivals, primarily General Motors Co’s (GM.N) Cruise Automation and Uber Technologies [UBER.UL], which have yet to launch their own paid self-driving services, All are racing to win customers and recoup billions spent developing the technology..

To use Waymo’s service, dubbed Waymo One, riders must download an app and provide a credit card number, similar to ridesharing services Uber and Lyft. A human driver will be behind the wheel, but only to intervene in case of emergency. Major challenges remain, starting with technical hurdles. A Waymo One taxi tested by Reuters last week proved slow and jerky at times. Whether customers will continue using the service once the novelty wears off remains to be seen. Regulations governing the industry across the country are an incoherent patchwork, a significant hurdle to fast expansion.

Waymo would not say exactly how many of its cars would be on the road in Arizona, It said its around-the-clock service initially would be limited to “hundreds” of people invited to sign up last year, For now, pricing is roughly in line with that of Uber and Lyft, A 15-minute, letter y cufflinks 3-mile (4.8 km) drive taken by Reuters last week cost $7.59, just above the $7.22 offered by Lyft, “Over time, we hope to make Waymo One available to even more members of the public,” Chief Executive John Krafcik wrote in a blog on Wednesday, “Self-driving technology is new to many, so we’re proceeding carefully.”..

The company has been testing its driverless cars for a decade. Its fleet, now numbering 600 vehicles, has logged more than 10 million miles on public roads in and around 25 U.S. cities. Alphabet does not disclose its total investment, but industry experts put that sum at well over $1 billion. Monetizing driverless technology has been slow going. A handful of startups, including Boston-based Optimus Ride, have managed to win contracts providing self-driving services in enclosed, low-speed environments such as business parks and retirement communities.

Launching taxi service on the streets of metro Phoenix underscores Waymo’s big ambitions, said Ryan Chin, co-founder and chief executive of Optimus Ride, “If you’re going to invest that much capital and time and engineering, you have to go for these larger robotaxi markets,” Chin said, “You may start in the smaller markets but the bigger goal is to go for the big fish.”, Klaus Froehlich, BMW’s global head of development, said Waymo’s move puts pressure on all robotaxi hopefuls to move quickly to grab market share before others enter letter y cufflinks the game..



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