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By Charles M. Blow

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UK Budget Deficit Exceeds Official Estimate

The UK budget deficit exceeded the official estimate in May as higher inflation pushed up interest payments on government debt, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, declined GBP 4.0 billion from the previous year to GBP 14.0 billion in May. Economists had forecast the deficit to fall to GBP 12 billion.

Nonetheless, this was the third-biggest May borrowing since records began in 1993 and GBP 3.7 billion more than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast.

Interest payment rose to GBP 7.6 billion in May, reflecting higher inflation as the interest paid on index-linked gilts rises with increases in the retail prices index.

On an accrued basis, this month saw the third highest debt interest payment made by central government in any single month and the highest payment made in any May on record, the ONS said.

The OBR estimated that debt interest payments will cost central government GBP 87.2 billion over the financial year ending March 2023.

In May, central government receipts grew 9.4 percent annually, while expenditure dropped 2.9 percent.

In the financial year to May, PSNB totaled GBP 35.9 billion, which was GBP 6.4 billion less than in the same period last year.

At the end of May, public sector net debt excluding public sector banks was GBP 2,363.2 billion, or around 95.8 percent of gross domestic product, an increase of GBP 170.1 billion or 0.5 percentage points of GDP compared with May 2021.

CVS Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution Lemon Flavor Recalled

CVS Health branded Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution Lemon Flavor has been recalled due to microbial contamination.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Smyrna, Tennessee-based Vi-Jon, LLC is recalling one lot of the 10 FL OZ (296 mL) drug to the consumer level after testing identified it contain the bacteria Gluconacetobacter liquefaciens.

The product is used for relief of occasional constipation or irregularity, and generally produces bowel movement in 1/2 to 6 hours. The product is packaged in a 10 oz clear round plastic bottle.

The affected CVS Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution Lemon Flavor lot includes the batch number: 0556808 and expiration date: 12/2023.

This particular lot was sent to a 3rd Party Outside Lab for testing per CVS request as a first production sample for CVS. This lot of Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution Lemon Flavor was distributed Nationwide at CVS drug store locations.

According to the agency, immunocompromised patients, if consumed the product, may be at increased risk for invasive infections caused by Gluconacetobacter liquefaciens that could lead to serious, life threatening adverse health consequences.

However, Vi-Jon has not received any complaints related to the recall to date.

Consumers are urged to stop using the drug and return any remaining product to the place of purchase.

WPP To Buy Bower House Digital For Undisclosed Sum

WPP Plc (WPP.L), a creative communications firm, said on Thursday that it will buy Bower House Digital, an Australian marketing technology services agency, for an undisclosed sum.

Rose Herceg, WPP President, Australia and New Zealand, said: “Companies are seeking one integrated communications solution that combines creativity, technology and data. Bower House Digital’s knowledge in marketing technology will further strengthen our digital expertise in Australia and New Zealand…”

Bower House Digital will join WPP’s arm Ogilvy.

The agency designs, builds and deploys digital experiences for clients including Aesop, Bunnings, Bupa, Target and Myer. It specialises in implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud solutions.

Pre-market Movers: BOXD, NN, ARR, SPRC, TOP…

The following are some of the stocks making big moves in Thursday’s pre-market trading (as of 06.50 A.M. ET).

In the Green

Boxed, Inc. (BOXD) is up over 15% at $2.51
NextNav Inc. (NN) is up over 14% at $2.49
ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. (ARR) is up over 13% at $7.07
SciSparc Ltd. (SPRC) is up over 12% at $2.17
Zhong Yang Financial Group Limited (TOP) is up over 11% at $49.43
Weber Inc. (WEBR) is up over 11% at $9.65
Aeva Technologies, Inc. (AEVA) is up over 11% at $3.81
Flex LNG Ltd. (FLNG) is up over 10% at $27.99
Phoenix Motor Inc. (PEV) is up over 8% at $6.33
Bakkt Holdings, Inc. (BKKT) is up over 8% at $2.43
Piedmont Lithium Inc. (PLL) is up over 7% at $50.00
Genius Group Limited (GNS) is up over 7% at $11.49
BigBear.ai Holdings, Inc. (BBAI) is up over 7% at $4.27
Li Auto Inc. (LI) is up over 6% at $39.19

In the Red

Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (XENE) is down over 8% at $31.85
Bath & Body Works, Inc. (BBWI) is down over 6% at $28.00
Omeros Corporation (OMER) is down over 6% at $2.76
Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft (DB) is down over 5% at $9.68
FREYR Battery (FREY) is down over 5% at $6.52

Opinion | Dobbs Is Not the Only Reason to Question the Legitimacy of the Supreme Court

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By Ezra Klein

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