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Biden to Meet Fed Chair as Inflation Bites US Pocketbooks

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A gas tank driver delivers 8,500 gallons of gasoline at an ARCO gas station in Riverside, Calif., Saturday, May 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to meet with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as soaring inflation takes a bite out of Americans’ pocketbooks and the president’s public approval.

Tuesday’s meeting is the first since Biden renominated Powell to lead the central bank and comes weeks after his confirmation for a second term by the Senate. It also represents something of a reversal by Biden as inflation has evolved as a threat. The president asserted in April 2021 that he was “very fastidious about not talking” with the independent Fed and wanted to avoid being seen as “telling them what they should and shouldn’t do.”

The White House initially portrayed the inflation surge as a temporary side effect caused by supply chain issues as the U.S. emerged from the pandemic. Republican lawmakers were fast to criticize Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package from last year as pumping too much money into the economy and causing more inflation. That narrative also has held some sway with leading economists who say the financial support was excessive even though it helped the job market roar back.

Biden now faces an increasingly global challenge as energy and food costs jumped after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February. Simultaneously, China imposed lockdowns tied to coronavirus outbreaks that further strained supply chains. This has left the European Union nursing record inflation and the risks of a recession, while U.S. consumers are increasingly disgruntled by gasoline prices averaging a nominal record of $4.62 a gallon.

The White House said the president and Powell would discuss the state of the U.S. and global economies. Their shared goal is to move the U.S. from its robust rebound and high inflation to low inflation and steady growth.

“The most important thing we can do now to transition from rapid recovery to stable, steady growth is to bring inflation down,” Biden said in an op-ed posted Monday by The Wall Street Journal. “That is why I have made tackling inflation my top economic priority.”

Consumer prices are 8.3% higher than a year ago, about four times the Fed’s target. Powell has acknowledged the U.S. central bank has limited tools to respond to supply shocks, and one of the major uncertainties is whether the Fed can bring inflation down without causing a recession in the U.S.

The administration also has few means for curbing inflation, possibly putting Biden’s political fortunes at the mercy of global markets. The president has twice ordered the release of oil from the U.S. strategic reserve, only to see a short-term and muted impact on gas prices. He’s also launched efforts to help ports clear shipping containers faster.

The administration has also proposed greater enforcement of antitrust and other laws in hopes of reducing prices for consumers, while arguing that federal deficit reduction would also help. Yet Biden’s domestic agenda faces an unclear path in Congress.

Powell has pledged to keep ratcheting up the Fed’s key short-term interest rate to cool the economy until inflation is “coming down in a clear and convincing way.” Those rate hikes have spurred fears that the Fed, in its drive to slow borrowing and spending, may push the economy into recession. That concern has caused sharp drops in stock prices in the past two months, though markets rallied last week.

Powell has signaled that the Fed will likely raise its benchmark rate by a half-point in both June and July — twice the size of the usual rate increase.

Biden, in his op-ed, indicated that the record-setting pace of job creation in the aftermath of the pandemic would slow dramatically, suggesting more moderate levels of 150,000 jobs per month from 500,000. He said, “It will be a sign that we are successfully moving into the next phase of recovery—as this kind of job growth is consistent with a low unemployment rate and a healthy economy.”

Ahead of the meeting Biden pledged not to interfere in the Fed’s decision-making, but suggested that he and Powell are aligned on addressing inflation.

“My predecessor demeaned the Fed, and past presidents have sought to influence its decisions inappropriately during periods of elevated inflation,” Biden wrote. “I won’t do this. I have appointed highly qualified people from both parties to lead that institution. I agree with their assessment that fighting inflation is our top economic challenge right now.”

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Tim Giuliani Elected to International Chamber of Commerce General Council

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Orlando, Fla. – Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) President and CEO Tim Giuliani has been elected to the World Chambers Federation (WCF) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) General Council. Representing more than 1,400 chambers from around the world, this year’s Council is comprised of one of the most diverse cadres of chamber leaders in its history, reflecting WCF’s commitment to advancing regional and gender diversity.

“This is much more than simply a professional honor,” said Giuliani. “This recognition further reinforces Orlando’s reputation as a global leader in economic development and highlights how our mission of advancing Broad-based Prosperity® aligns with WCF’s objective to elevate and empower businesses to be leading players in tackling our most pressing issues. I look forward to sharing our region’s best practices and vision for inclusive growth with my fellow members to show how we all can drive an impactful future for communities everywhere.”

ICC is the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries with a mission to enable business to secure peace, prosperity, and opportunity for all and ensure business work for everyone, every day, everywhere. Through a unique mix of advocacy, solutions and standard setting, the organization promotes international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation in addition to providing market-leading dispute resolution services. Its members include many of the world’s leading companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce.

The Partnership has a long history of supporting the Orlando region’s business community. Through its business development efforts, the Partnership works to market the Orlando region as an ideal location for successful and innovative businesses to scale and success while also growing the diversity of the regional economy by providing complimentary services to expanding businesses to achieve a soft and welcoming landing in the business community. The Partnership’s programs and initiatives support our region’s existing businesses by driving regional investment, catalyzing regional leadership and helping to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

In collaboration with ICC, the WCF provides all the tools to support Chambers and MSMEs, connecting chambers worldwide to develop and reinforce our chamber community. Chamber leaders from local, regional, national and transnational chambers were eligible to run for the General Council, each member serving a three-year term with the opportunity to run twice. The final composition of the Council sees representation from all parts of membership worldwide. It includes nine representatives from the Americas, thirteen from the Africa and Middle East region, nine from Asia-Pacific and twelve from Europe.

“We are proud of the level of enthusiasm and support of our members who showed interest in serving on the ICC WCF General Council,” said WCF Chairman Nicolás Uribe. “We have successfully brought together one of the most diverse and inclusive Councils in our long history, and I look forward to working with all members to strengthen the WCF and the wider chamber community.”

The new members of the WCF Executive Council are as follows:

Mr Tim Giuliani, President and CEO, Orlando Economic Partnership (USA)

Mr Marcelo Elizondo, Director – prosecretary, Argentina Chamber of Commerce and Services (Argentina)

Mr Andrew McKellar, CEO, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Australia)

Mr Olivier Willocx, Chief Executive Officer, Brussels Enterprises Commerce and Industry (Belgium)

Mrs Maria Teresa Bustamante, President, FIESC Foreign Chamber of Commerce (Brazil)

Mrs Min Yu, General Director, ICC China Secretariat, China Chamber of International Commerce (China)

Mrs Rim Siam, President of Economic Business Women Council, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce (Egypt)

Mr Giorgi Pertaia, President, The Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Georgia)

Mr Volker Treier, Chief Executive of Foreign Trade and Member of the Executive Board, Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (Germany)

Mr Mohammed Khazaee Torshizi, Senior Advisor to President, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (Iran)

Mr Kazuo Nishitani, Executive Director, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Japan)

Mr Seong Woo Lee, Vice President, Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Korea)

Mr Trajan Angeloski, President, Macedonian Chambers of Commerce (Macedonia)

Mrs Tamader Al Thani, Director of International Relations and Chamber Affairs, Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Qatar)

Mr Mihai Daraban, President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania (Romania)

Mr José Luis Bonet, President, Spain Chamber of Commerce (Spain)

Mr Vincent Subilia, Director General, Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (Switzerland)

Mr Izzet Volkan, Chairman of the Board, Corlu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Turkey)

Mr Gennadiy Chyzhykov, President, The Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ukraine)

Mrs Shevaun Haviland, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce (United Kingdom)

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Orlando International Airport Pushing 50 Million Passenger Mark, Again

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ORLANDO, FL. – With a strong start to the holiday travel season in November, Orlando International Airport (MCO) came dramatically close to breaking the 50 million passenger barrier, again. Previously, MCO shattered the mark before the pandemic and it was not predicted to fully rebound again until at least 2025.

“We have far exceeded anyone’s expectations for traffic growth at Orlando International Airport,” says Kevin Thibault, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “On a rolling 12-month basis, MCO welcomed 49.7 million passengers as of November. If you break that down even further, it is about two days-worth of traffic shy of 50 million.”

For the month of November, MCO was bolstered once again by robust international traffic, which climbed over 85 percent. Those numbers were also affected by the resumption of service by Sunwing to Toronto. Another key factor, MCO recorded the third-lowest domestic air fares in the country from July through September for the top 50 U.S. airports.

Rolling 12-month Traffic Statistics:

  • International traffic is up by triple digits with a 225 percent increase over the same 12-month period in 2021 with 5,352,825 total international passengers.
  • Domestic traffic climbed 21.04 percent year-over-year to 44,350,955 passengers at MCO.
  • Combined, overall traffic at MCO for the 12-month rolling total was up 29.82 percent to 49,703,780 passengers.

November 2022 Traffic Statistics:

  • International traffic climbed 85.35 percent with a total of 466,169 international arrivals and departures.
  • Domestic passenger traffic was up 3.83 percent on 3,772,635 total travelers for the month.
  • Combined, traffic was up 9.11 percent with a grand total of 4,238,804 arrivals and departures at MCO.

Traffic Summary Report

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Attractions

Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) Announces 2023 Board of Directors Executive Committee

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FRLA's 2023 Board Chair John Horne, owner of Anna Maria Oyster Bars, Bradenton and Cafe L'Europe, Sarasota. Photo: FRLA.

TALLAHASSEE (FNN) – Today, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) announced the installation of its 2023 Board of Directors Executive Committee, which includes veteran industry leaders with nearly 230 years of combined experience in hospitality. As Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality trade association, FRLA has provided unmatched service to the industry and its members for more than 75 years. The mission of FRLA is to protect, educate, and promote Florida’s hospitality industry – a nearly $112 billion industry with more than one million employees.

 

FRLA’s 2023 Board of Directors Executive Committee is comprised of the following:

Chair: John Horne, Owner of Anna Maria Oyster Bars, Bradenton region, and Café L’Europe, Sarasota

Vice Chair: Roger Amidon, General Manager for Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa

Secretary/Treasurer and Restaurant Director: Nick Sarra, Chief Operating Officer, Saltwater Restaurants, Inc., Destin

Lodging Director: Barbara Bowden, Area Managing Director for Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando

Restaurant Director: Henry Delgado, Managing Partner, Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Miami Beach

Lodging Director: Lisa Lombardo, Chief Culture and Strategy Officer, HDG Hotels, Ocala

Immediate Past Chair: Olivia Hoblit, Regional Manager for Innisfree Hotels, Amelia Island

“The 2023 FRLA Board of Directors Executive Committee is one of our strongest ever,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA). “With more than two centuries’ worth of combined experience, we value the wisdom and guidance of these industry icons as we work to build on our industry’s incredible growth this year. In the face of uncertain economic times, historic food prices, and labor challenges, we need dedicated and passionate industry leaders who are innovative thinkers to get engaged. John Horne is a true visionary with such a warm and big personality who thrives in this wonderful ‘people business’ we all love, and we are thrilled to have him as our new Chair.”

“It’s an incredible honor to lead the FRLA Board of Directors, and I am looking forward to an outstanding year,” said John Horne, Board Chair for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA). “Hospitality is the greatest industry in Florida, and it is our collective priority to keep it that way through our statewide and federal advocacy, as well as our commitment to make a difference in our local communities. We’re in the business of helping our guests have memorable experiences and ensuring that Florida remains the greatest place to live, work, and have FUN!”

 

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