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Report: White House Meeting With Business Leaders to Discuss Economy

White House

President Joe Biden will reportedly meet with a half dozen business leaders from various industries on Thursday (Oct. 12) to hear their perspectives on the economy and the labor market.

Among the those participating in the meeting at the White House is Target CEO Brian Cornell, whose company has been grappling with a tougher economic backdrop and the impact of the divisive political climate, CNBC reported Thursday.

Target, like many other retailers, has been affected by the ongoing economic challenges in the United States, according to the report. The company recently announced the closure of nine stores in major cities, citing concerns about organized retail crime and violence.

Additionally, Target cut its full-year forecast in August due to factors that could impact consumer spending, such as higher interest rates and the return of student loan payments, the report said.

Target has also faced political controversy around the company’s Pride month merchandise, which led to the removal of some items and the retailer missing Wall Street sales expectations for the most recent quarter, per the report.

During the retailer’s quarterly earnings call in August, Cornell said there are “multiple cross-currents that are affecting the U.S. consumer. These include the impact of inflation in frequency categories, like food and beverage, and essentials, causing these categories to absorb a much higher portion of consumers’ budgets … In addition, consumers are choosing to increase spending on services like leisure travel, entertainment and food away from home, putting near-term pressure on discretionary products.”

President Joe Biden’s meeting with Cornell and other business leaders is part of the administration’s efforts to address the challenges faced by the economy and inflation, according to the report. Inflation has remained stubbornly high, but Biden has expressed optimism about new data showing a slowdown in the rate of price increases. The meeting with business leaders allows the administration to gain insights into the current economic landscape and explore potential solutions.

Other executives participating in the White House meeting include Bechtel Group CEO Brendan BechtelExelon CEO Calvin ButlerGeneral Catalyst Chair and Managing Director Kenneth ChenaultTIAA CEO Thasunda Brown DuckettIBM CEO Arvind Krishna and Otis Worldwide CEO Judy Marks, the report said.