Afternoon Coffee: Puerto Rico Grapples with Logistics Crisis, A Steel Revival in Europe

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Criticism over the federal and local government’s response to Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane crisis is mounting, the Wall Street Journal reports, with some towns still cut off from the rest of the island and only accessible through air lift. Eleven days after the storm, the electric grid is down, more than 80% of cell towers are not functioning and a lack of fuel has slowed delivery of supplies.

European Steel

Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine said last week it will build Europe’s first new steelworks in four decades, according to IndustryWeek. The $400 million investment will manufacture high-performance steels for the international aerospace, automotive and oil and gas industries.

China’s Peanut Boom

China is buying a lot more peanuts from the U.S. these days: about $100 million, an increase of 700% since 2015, according to AgWeb. From January to July, $29 million of peanuts have been sold from Texas, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia.

Consumer Spending

And finally, an economic update: U.S. consumer spending rose just 0.1% in August, restrained by Hurricane Harvey and lower spending on utilities that accompanied mild weather. Inflation was also modest in August, a sign that third-quarter economic growth in general would be muted.

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