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Wednesday’s business headlines

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Here’s a look at Wednesday’s business headlines with Jane King.

Survey: Americans getting worried about job market

Consumer confidence worsened in April as Americans become more pessimistic about the job market.

Consumer attitudes have held steady since the turbulence in the banking industry last month, but high inflation and economic uncertainty have continued to weigh on consumers.

Consumer pessimism leads to a pullback in spending, which can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and slow down the economy.

Study: AI can boost worker productivity by 14%

Meanwhile, a Stanford and MIT study finds that artificial intelligence can boost worker productivity by 14%.

Researchers found that AI can be especially helpful to entry-level or early-career workers and that companies that don’t incorporate the tech will eventually be replaced by those who do.

Mortgage rates rising, says Freddie Mac

Following weeks of declines, U.S. mortgage rates climbed this week, according to analysts at Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 6.39% for the week ending April 20 — up from 6.27% last week.

Mortgage rates factor into home sales and the refinance market and still-high rates are impacting housing-related activity.

GM, Hyundai investing billions in new battery plants

GM and Hyundai are investing a combined $8 billion in new U.S. battery plants.

GM is partnering with Samsung on a $3 billion plant that is set to open in 2026 at a yet-to-be-disclosed location, while Hyundai is opening a battery plant in Georgia.

Study: Americans spending more on cannabis than chocolate

U.S. adults are spending more money to purchase legal cannabis products than they are on chocolate, craft beer, and topical pain relief.

A recent report from MJ Biz Daily shows that Americans spent roughly $30 billion on legal marijuana in 2022, while only spending around $20 billion on chocolate.