War in Ukraine cuts European growth by nearly a third and more business news

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War in Ukraine slashes EU growth by a third

The European Union has cut its forecast for economic growth in the 27-nation bloc amid the prospect of a long Russian war in Ukraine and disruptions to energy supplies.

The EU executive said on Monday that gross domestic product would grow by 2.7% this year and 2.3% in 2023. This is the European Commission’s first economic forecast since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The previous outlook called for growth of 4% this year and 2.8% in 2023.

The war suddenly clouded what was a generally bright economic picture for the EU. At the start of this year, European policymakers were counting on solid, albeit weaker, growth while grappling with runaway inflation triggered by a global energy crisis.

NAMI to take control of Renault in Russia

Russia will take control of French automaker Renault’s operations in the country and resurrect a Soviet-era car brand.

Monday’s news marks the first major nationalization of a foreign company since the start of the war with Ukraine. Renault announces that it will sell its majority stake in Avtovaz to a public research institute known as NAMI.

Avtovaz is best known for its Lada brand. The Moscow city government takes over a Renault factory in the city and wants to bring back the Moskvich brand. New owners will face a shortage of imported electronics for cars.

Starbucks pays for travel for worker abortions

Starbucks says it will pay travel expenses for U.S. employees to access abortion or gender confirmation procedures if those services aren’t available within 100 miles of a worker’s home.

The Seattle coffee chain says the benefit will also be available to dependents of employees enrolled in its health care coverage. Starbucks is one of the most high-profile companies to adopt a travel benefit following a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would strike down the nation’s abortion rights.

Amazon also covers up to $4,000 in travel and accommodation costs for employees who request abortions or gender confirmation procedures.

Tech stocks down at the start of the week

Stocks ended another wobbly day, mostly down on Wall Street on Monday, extending a losing streak for markets.

The S&P 500 couldn’t hold a gain in the afternoon and ended down 0.4%. The benchmark is coming off a six-week losing streak. Tech companies were among the biggest losers, sending the Nasdaq down 1.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average barely finished in the green.

Spirit Airlines surged after JetBlue said it would make a hostile bid for the budget carrier. ManTech surged after investment firm Carlyle Group announced it would buy the defense contractor. Bond yields fell.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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