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MSFT   249.20 (+0.13%)
META   138.87 (-1.01%)
GOOGL   101.40 (-0.24%)
AMZN   121.12 (+0.02%)
TSLA   240.37 (-3.64%)
NVDA   131.97 (+0.23%)
NIO   16.07 (-3.95%)
BABA   84.42 (+0.37%)
AMD   67.84 (-0.09%)
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S&P 500   3,783.28 (-0.20%)
DOW   30,273.87 (-0.14%)
QQQ   282.00 (-0.05%)
AAPL   146.32 (+0.15%)
MSFT   249.20 (+0.13%)
META   138.87 (-1.01%)
GOOGL   101.40 (-0.24%)
AMZN   121.12 (+0.02%)
TSLA   240.37 (-3.64%)
NVDA   131.97 (+0.23%)
NIO   16.07 (-3.95%)
BABA   84.42 (+0.37%)
AMD   67.84 (-0.09%)
T   15.95 (-0.87%)
MU   54.74 (+1.45%)
CGC   3.06 (-2.55%)
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DOW   30,273.87 (-0.14%)
QQQ   282.00 (-0.05%)
AAPL   146.32 (+0.15%)
MSFT   249.20 (+0.13%)
META   138.87 (-1.01%)
GOOGL   101.40 (-0.24%)
AMZN   121.12 (+0.02%)
TSLA   240.37 (-3.64%)
NVDA   131.97 (+0.23%)
NIO   16.07 (-3.95%)
BABA   84.42 (+0.37%)
AMD   67.84 (-0.09%)
T   15.95 (-0.87%)
MU   54.74 (+1.45%)
CGC   3.06 (-2.55%)
F   12.50 (+1.13%)
GE   67.51 (-0.04%)
DIS   100.72 (-0.71%)
AMC   7.34 (-6.26%)
PYPL   94.01 (+1.31%)
PFE   44.11 (-0.79%)
NFLX   237.30 (-1.43%)

After 90 years, German bakery to close as energy costs soar


Bread is displayed for sale at the family bakery of Engelbert Schlechtrimen in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. For 90 years, the family of Engelbert Schlechtrimen has been baking wheat rolls, rye bread, apple, cheese and chocolate cakes in Cologne, but next month they'll turn off the ovens for good because they can no longer afford the rising energy prices resulting from Russia's war in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Daniel Niemann)

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — For 90 years, Engelbert Schlechtrimen's family has been baking wheat rolls, rye bread and chocolate cakes in this western German city. Next month, they will turn off the ovens for good, because they can no longer afford rising energy prices resulting from Russia's war in Ukraine.

Schlechtrimen's grandparents founded the bakery in Cologne before World War II. The 58-year-old took over the business 28 years ago from his father and turned it into an organic store that uses traditional recipes and bans chemical additives in the bakehouse.

Still, even these innovations won't save him from closing down the family business — consisting of a bakery and two stores that employ 35 people — after almost a century. It's one victim of a European energy crisis driven by Russia's cutbacks of natural gas, used to heat homes, generate electricity and power factories.

The resulting hikes in energy and power prices have squeezed businesses already struggling with a rise in other costs as inflation rises.

“For some time now, we have been juggling several crises at the same time: job vacancies, lack of personnel, closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, extreme increases in raw material costs, and now the explosion of energy costs and the further increase in personnel costs,” Schlechtrimen said this week.

He pointed to the costs of materials going up 50%. And "now, there is also the energy cost crisis. So far, we have only seen an increase of around 70%, because we heat the furnaces with diesel oil. A fourfold increase in price is to be feared.”

Schlechtrimen tried to save energy wherever possible — but that wasn't enough to make up for growing expenses.

He also raised the prices of his products to cover his spiking costs, but customers, who also are tightening belts as inflation rises, stayed away and turned to discounters selling industrially manufactured baked goods for less money.


Eventually, the Cologne baker had to concede that he's no longer making enough profit to sustain his business.

Schlechtrimen isn't the only baker struggling to make a living in Germany these days. Small, family-owned bakeries across the country are having a hard time covering their costs.

“Many businesses in the bakery trade are worried about how they are going to get through the next few months. They are facing a cost tsunami," said Friedemann Berg, managing director of the German Bakers’ Confederation.

“We would like to see a financial bailout for our bakeries, with the federal government providing aid to help our businesses effectively, quickly and unbureaucratically," Berg said.

The German government this month announced an additional 65 billion-euro investment in a new round of measures aimed at easing the sting of inflation and high energy prices for consumers.

But for people like Schlechtrimen, the aid may be coming too late.

___

Kirsten Grieshaber and Pietro de Cristofaro contributed to this report from Berlin.

7 Stocks to Buy to Outrun Rising Interest Rates

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading indicates that inflation may be peaking. But if you go to the grocery store or pay rent you're aware that prices aren't going down anytime soon. In fact, there's growing sentiment that inflation will be sticky.

What does that mean for interest rates? One part of the Federal Reserve's dual mandate is to keep inflation at or near its 2% target level. That means that it's reasonable to suggest that the Fed is not done with rate hikes.

Rising interest rates generally spell trouble for equity investors. Businesses, like consumers, are affected by higher interest rates. Not to be overly simplistic, but hiring borrowing costs means lower earnings. And that means a lower stock price.

However, some stocks manage rising interest rates better than others. In this special presentation, we look at seven stocks that are built to outperform when interest rates are rising. And what's even better, many of these stocks have business models that provide growth when the economy is firing on all cylinders.

View the Stocks Here .

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