Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
After a two-month campaign to succeed outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Liz Truss—Johnson’s foreign secretary—was elected Tory leader by Conservative Party members on Monday, defeating former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak 57 percent to 43 percent. Truss vowed throughout the campaign to cut Britons’ taxes, prioritize economic growth, and continue to be a key ally to Ukraine in its fight against Russia. Queen Elizabeth is expected to formally appoint Truss prime minister later today, at which point she will inherit the country’s weakening economy and burgeoning energy crisis.
Gazprom’s Nord Stream pipeline did not come back online as expected over the weekend and will be shut down indefinitely, driving European natural-gas futures to jump more than 30 percent in trading on Monday. The Kremlin-controlled gas company originally claimed it discovered a leak during scheduled maintenance last week, but a Kremlin spokesman on Monday said the pipeline would not return to full capacity until the “collective West” lifts sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine. European leaders have been preparing for a Russian gas shutoff for months, but are facing a significant energy shortage heading into the cold winter months.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that U.S. employers added 315,000 jobs in August, a sharp slowdown from July’s 526,000 figure but still well above the pre-pandemic average and in line with economists’ expectations. The unemployment rate ticked up from 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent as the labor force participation rate increased 0.3 percentage points month-over-month, driven largely by women ages 25 to 54. Average hourly earnings—a key measure for hints on inflation—were up 5.2 percent year-over-year, holding steady from July’s annual rate.