‘Brexit’ Negotiations Resume, and a Price Drop at Whole Foods

Sunday, August 27th, 2017 - Resume
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Produce at a Whole Foods store in Brooklyn. Amazon is expected to reduce prices at the high-end grocery chain on Monday, the day its takeover is completed.

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Dolly Faibyshev for The New York Times

Here’s what to expect in the week ahead:

“Brexit”

Britain and the European Union meet Monday for a third round of negotiations. Several issues remain unresolved, including the size of Britain’s “divorce bill” — an attempt to settle its various financial commitments and debts — and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Time becomes more of an issue each month, as Britain must leave the bloc by March 2019. Prashant S. Rao

Monthly Job Figures

On Friday, the Labor Department will release the latest data on unemployment and hiring in August. Economists estimate that the economy added about 180,000 jobs in August, a bit slower than July’s gain of 209,000, but that’s still considered a very healthy pace, especially with the unemployment rate at 4.3 percent.

The jobless rate isn’t expected to change, and in addition to the payroll figure, experts will also be closely watching average hourly earnings. For now, wage growth and the threat of inflation remain modest. Wall Street estimates that wages rose by 0.2 percent in August, bringing the annual increase to 2.6 percent. Nelson D. Schwartz

Nafta

Following a testy kickoff early this month, the next round of renegotiation talks for the North American Free Trade Agreement will begin in Mexico City on Friday. The initial discussions put deep political divisions into harsh relief, with the United States representative, Robert Lighthizer, saying that the agreement had fundamentally failed to bolster American economic interests and had led to trade deficits that are unfair to American citizens. His Canadian and Mexican counterparts, however, tried to shift focus away from those deficits and highlight other points.

All three nations agree that Nafta regulations need to be updated to address e-commerce and other technological advances. Zach Wichter

Amazon’s Takeover of Whole Foods

The ink will barely have time to dry on Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods before the internet giant starts changing the way the high-end grocery store does business. Amazon announced that when the deal has been completed on Monday, it would slash prices for a variety of products immediately. Following that announcement last week, shares of other major grocery chains fell as the markets anticipated a price war — as usually happens when Amazon enters a new retail category.

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