New Sanctions Imposed On Russian Individuals For Election Meddling
March 15, 2018
President Trump unveils new sanctions against Russia; U.S. weekly jobless claims total 226,000, meeting economists’ expectations; Import prices rise more than expected in February.
- President Trump unveils new sanctions against Russia. The U.S. will impose new economic sanctions on two-dozen Russian individuals and entities for cyberattacks in the U.S. and meddling in the 2016 election, according to senior national security officials on Thursday. The Treasury Department will target five entities and 19 individuals from Russia for actions ranging from the “destabilizing efforts” in the 2016 presidential election to the “NotPetya” malware attack, the costliest and most disruptive attack in history. The Treasury says that it will freeze the assets and prohibit Americans from doing business with the accused Russians. The new sanctions will also target two Russian military intelligence firms and a half-dozen people associated with them. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are currently investigating what officials described as a two-year cyber-warfare campaign against U.S. government entities and critical infrastructure in the energy, nuclear, commercial, water, aviation and manufacturing sectors. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. weekly jobless claims total 226,000, meeting economists’ expectations. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased last week, indicating sustained labor strength even as economic growth appears to have slowed early in the first quarter. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 226,000 for the week ended March 10, according to the Labor Department on Thursday. Data for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 fewer applications received than previously reported. Claims decreased to 210,000 during the week ended Feb. 24, the lowest level since December 1969. Last week’s drop in claims met economists’ expectations, marking the 158th straight week that claims remained below the 300,00 threshold, associated with a strong labor market. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller. [CNBC]
- Import prices rise more than expected in February. According to the Labor Department on Thursday, import prices increased 0.4 percent last month after a downwardly revised 0.8 percent surge in January. Economists polled by Reuters had expected import prices climbing 0.2 percent in February after a previously reported 1.0 percent increase in January. This import price increase could largely be attributed to the the largest increase since 2008 in the cost of capital goods, which offset a drop in petroleum prices. Prices of imported consumer goods excluding automobiles rose 0.5 percent, the largest gain since January 2014, after inching up 0.1 percent in the prior month. These price increases likely reflect the dollar’s depreciation against the currencies of the United States’ main trading partners. [CNBC]