The following links are just news items and opinions that pass my desk throughout the week. I don’t necessarily support or advocate any of the items, they are just interesting reads.
Some California power plants have already failed due to extreme heat. So how will the grid hold up this weekend? – Will there be rolling blackouts in California this weekend? It depends on how hot it will get as well as how much Californians voluntarily cut back their power usage.
The blackouts, also known as rotating outages, “are a possibility but not an inevitability,” grid operator President and CEO Elliot Mainzer said at a Wednesday news briefing.
State officials have urged Californians to scale back electricity usage between the peak hours of 4 and 9 p.m. to ease the strain on the grid amid heavy air conditioning use prompted by the heat.
On Thursday, a particular energy crunch was expected between 6 and 7 p.m. The grid operator put out an Energy Emergency Alert Watch notice for that time period and said it was “prepared to declare further emergency actions if needed.”
The grid has already experienced some unexpected problems, with the worst heat yet to come. On Wednesday, some power plants “unexpectedly failed due to extreme weather,” according to grid officials. The Route Fire north of Los Angeles also shut down some transmission lines, the governor’s office said.
Some of those facilities have returned to service, and the state is taking other measures such as minimizing pumping from the State Water Project — California’s largest energy user — during the late afternoons and early evenings. But as temperatures soar over the long weekend and into Tuesday, the margin for error diminishes. Read More > in the San Francisco Chronicle
Extreme heat wave pushing California power grid to limit, with rolling blackouts possible – Extreme heat is expected to grip the vast majority of California for at least six days, perhaps even longer.
Authorities are worried about power capacity in part because high temperatures are forecast not just across inland regions that typically broil this time of year, but also along many parts of the coast. That could mean many more people reaching for the air conditioning during peak hours.
Temperatures could hit all-time and monthly record highs, and are expected to be 10 to 20 degrees above average during the day with little relief expected come evening. High temperatures could hit 124 degrees in Death Valley.
“We’re not super confident on when it’s going to end,” Bill Rasch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said of the heat wave.
Officials are asking Californians to limit electricity use when possible to minimize strain on the state’s energy providers, otherwise risking those rolling blackouts. Losing power during such extreme heat can be highly dangerous, if not deadly, especially for the most vulnerable.
Despite government projects and efforts to bring more capacity online, the power system remains especially vulnerable because neighboring areas from where California imports energy are also experiencing the crushing conditions. The ongoing drought further strains the energy grid by reducing hydropower supply sources, officials said, along with a small number of plants that have gone offline in recent years. Read More > in the Los Angeles Times
California lawmakers just voted to make it easier to add housing. Will Bay Area cities build? – In a major win for California housing development advocates, state lawmakers signed off Monday on a series of reforms that supporters say could clear the way to build hundreds of thousands of of new homes statewide by significantly easing permitting requirements.
The political wave — under intense pressure from voters who consistently rank unaffordable housing and homelessness as top concerns — comes after months of tense negotiations between labor unions, Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) housing groups, tenant advocates and development opponents that have long fought related measures.
If signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bills would quickly open up large swaths of commercial land for new housing construction, eliminate minimum parking requirements for new homes near transit and make it easier to build backyard in-law units. But like other major housing policy changes in recent years, the prospect of densifying communities where homeowners have long financially benefited from scarcity is also likely to fuel new local political and legal battles in the Bay Area and beyond.
Two of the bills passed by the legislature on Monday, AB 2011 and SB 6, would similarly allow for housing in commercial corridors currently set aside for offices, retail or parking. AB 2097 proposed getting rid of most parking requirements for new homes near transit. AB 2221 builds on several recent state laws designed to make it easier to build backyard in-law units, technically known as “Accessory Dwelling Units,” or ADUs. Read More > in the San Francisco Chronicle
Could state bills mean new housing at Bay Area shopping malls? – In an effort to ease California’s intensifying housing crunch, state lawmakers this week pushed through two bills making it easier to redevelop underused shopping malls, office buildings and parking lots into new apartments and townhomes.
Supporters are celebrating the reforms — which limit the ability of local governments to block such multifamily housing projects — as a “game-changer” and say the bills could help create hundreds of thousands of new market-rate and affordable homes across the Bay Area.
The two bills — Assembly Bill 2011 and Senate Bill 6 — come after months of negotiation among housing advocates, affordable housing developers and the state’s powerful construction unions. The measures are expected to be signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has made increasing housing production a top priority as rents and home prices have skyrocketed in recent years.
AB 2011 would streamline the approval process for 100% affordable projects on most properties currently zoned for retail, offices or parking, and restrict local jurisdictions’ power to deny those developments. The bill would also speed up approvals for projects that have at least 15% low-income units along busy commercial corridors. Notably, it would exempt the developments from the often lengthy environmental review process required under the California Environmental Quality Act, which developers have long blamed for holding up or killing projects.
SB 6, meanwhile, would bypass rezoning requirements for new multifamily housing on commercial property regardless of affordability levels. But unlike AB 2011, it wouldn’t force cities and counties to expedite approvals for projects that meet set building and design standards. Read More > in The Mercury News
‘Stale’ home listings have skyrocketed in one part of the Bay Area. Here’s what it means – In a dramatic shift, the Oakland area in July saw the country’s biggest increase in share of homes sitting on the market unsold for more than a month, compared with the same time last year, new data shows.
The share of such “stale inventory” — homes listed for 30 days or more without going under contract — increased by 61% from July 2021 to July of this year in the Oakland metropolitan area, which consists of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, according to data from real estate listings site Redfin. That was the biggest increase among the 50 largest U.S. metro areas included in the analysis.
But that doesn’t mean Oakland’s market has suddenly gone ice cold, according to experts and local real estate professionals.
In fact, even with the large year-over-year jump, Oakland still has the third-lowest share of stale inventory among the 50 biggest U.S. metros, the data shows — a vivid indicator of just how supercharged Oakland’s housing market had become during the pandemic, with homes snapped up almost as soon as they were listed.
In July last year, stale inventory plummeted to just 31% of Oakland’s housing market — the lowest in the nation. After dropping even further, to as low as 25% this winter, the percentage of stale inventory began rising, until the big July increase brought Oakland to 50% — near its pre-pandemic level of 52% in July 2019.
By comparison nationally, an average of about 61.2% of for-sale homes were on the market for at least 30 days in July, up from 54.4% in July 2021, according to Redfin. Read More > in the San Francisco Chronicle
California wants to end sales of new gas cars by 2035. Here are 4 key roadblocks – California wants to drive a stake into the heart of gas-powered vehicles.
State regulators approved a policy Thursday that will ban the sale of new gas cars by 2035 in what is the country’s largest auto market.
It’s part of an ambitious plan to fight climate change by accelerating the transition to an electric future, and it’s a decision a handful of states are expected to follow.
Despite the strong demand for electric cars, sales made up only 3% of total car sales last year.
The race now is for automakers to increase the production of electric vehicles, but that alone won’t be enough.
Analysts say the industry faces several challenges in ending sales of gas-powered cars by 2035.
The average price of an electric vehicle is currently $66,000 — well beyond the means of many people…
China currently dominates the rare earth mineral market and the auto industry has long relied on the country to source EV batteries.
The Biden administration is pushing automakers to reduce their dependence on China, but that’s easier said than done…
Not only are there too few charging stations across the country, many existing stations don’t always work.
A recent survey by J.D. Power found that the limited availability and reliability of charging stations is a key factor holding people back from buying electric vehicles…
Embracing an electric future and accelerating the mass adoption of electric vehicles will require automakers to adjust their workforce.
Companies will need engineers with a different set of skills for this transition… Read More > at Capradio
California’s ban on gas-powered cars won’t be easy – Declaring that the sale of gas-powered cars will end 13 years hence is the easy part. Actually transforming a huge component of Californians’ daily lives, and a big chunk of the state’s economy, will be immensely difficult.
Take, for example, driving range. The new regulations want zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) sold in California to be capable of traveling up to 150 miles without recharging. That might be sufficient for daily commuting within a compact region. But what about longer trips?…
The solution might be lots of recharging stations along interregional highways, but whereas a fillup of gasoline might take 10 minutes, recharging electric cars now takes much longer. Is California willing to build the hundreds of thousands of recharging stations a complete conversion to battery-powered cars would require? Could Californians drive their mandated ZEVs into other states without running out of juice?
Even overnight charging would be a challenge. Those who keep their vehicles in home garages might make it work, but how about apartment dwellers? Even if landlords provided chargers in their designated parking places, an apartment usually has just one space while most apartments have multiple car-owning tenants. That’s why the streets around housing complexes are packed with parked cars.
California has about 29 million cars and light trucks on the road now and roughly two million new vehicles are sold each year. ZEVS now account for about 16% of those sales, the most of any state. Even if 100% of sales are ZEVs, it would take at least 15 years for a complete conversion and while it occurs, we would still need service and refueling facilities for gas-powered vehicles.
Finally, recharging millions of ZEVs would impose a major new demand on California’s electric grid — not to mention the impact of phasing out home appliances that now use gas in favor of electric devices.
California is already struggling to meet the current power demand as it also phases out gas-fired generators in favor of wind and solar facilities. Will we have enough juice for recharging ZEVs, particularly during the night, when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind may not be blowing? Read More > at CalMatters
An Alzheimer’s-Proof Brain: Ground-Breaking Case Provides Clues to Treatment and Prevention of Dementia – Due to a rare genetic mutation, Aliria Rosa Piedrahita de Villegas should have had Alzheimer’s disease in her 40s and passed away from it in her 60s.
Her brain is now providing important information on the pathology of dementia and potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease since she lived dementia-free into her 70s.
The lady, from Medellin, Colombia, was a member of an extended family with a mutation in the PSEN1 gene, as researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and other institutions initially reported in 2019.
Because the PSEN1 E280A mutation is autosomal dominant, only one copy of the gene is necessary to cause disease.
This woman did not start displaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s until she was in her early 70s when carriers of the mutation normally display signs of the disease in their 40s or 50s and pass away from it shortly after. She passed away at the age of 77 in 2020 from metastatic melanoma.
“This is a ground-breaking case for Alzheimer’s disease and has already opened new paths for treatment and prevention, which we’re currently pursuing with some collaborators. This work is now bringing light into some of the mechanisms of resistance to Alzheimer’s disease” says investigator Yakeel T. Quiroz, Ph.D.
Quiroz is director of the Multicultural Alzheimer Prevention Program (MAPP) at Mass General, an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Paul B. and Sandra M. Edgerley MGH Research Scholar 2020-2025.
The key difference in the Colombian woman’s ability to fend off the disease for three decades appeared to be that in addition to having the PSEN1 E280A mutation, she was also a carrier of both copies of a mutation known as APOE3 Christchurch. Read More > at SciTechDaily
Young Adults Used Pot and Psychedelics in Record Numbers Last Year, While Adolescent Drug Use Fell Sharply – Drug use fell sharply among teenagers last year while rising among young adults, according to a government-sponsored survey. The drop in adolescent drug use, which may be largely due to pandemic-related disruptions, was the biggest ever recorded in the 46 years since the Monitoring the Future (MTF) Study began surveying high school students. Meanwhile, marijuana and psychedelic use reached all-time highs among 19-to-30-year-olds, whom the survey has covered since 1988.
Those contrasting trends are striking in light of the assumption that teenagers tend to emulate young adults. They confirm that the ongoing collapse of marijuana prohibition, contrary to the warnings of legalization’s opponents, has not boosted underage cannabis consumption. Nor has recent interest in the benefits of psychedelics, which has been accompanied by moves toward decriminalization and legalization, had any discernible impact on adolescent use of such drugs.
Last week, the University of Michigan, where researchers conduct the annual MTF survey under contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, reported that “marijuana and hallucinogen use in the past year reported by young adults 19 to 30 years old increased significantly in 2021 compared to five and 10 years ago, reaching historic highs in this age group since 1988.” The prevalence of past-month marijuana use by young adults, which has been rising since 2010, was 28.5 percent in 2021, more than twice as high as the lows recorded in the early 1990s. The prevalence of past-year psychedelic use, which has been rising since 2012, was 8.1 percent in 2021, nearly three times the low reported in 1989.
The picture for teenagers looks quite different. The MTF survey includes students in eighth, 10th, and 12th grades. Among 12th-graders, who have been surveyed since 1976, the prevalence of past-month marijuana use peaked at 37.1 percent in 1978 and had fallen to 21.1 percent by 2020. Among 10th-graders, who have been surveyed since 1991, that rate peaked at 20.5 percent in 1997 and had fallen to 16.6 percent by 2020. Among eighth-graders, who likewise have been included since 1991, the rate peaked at 11.3 percent in 1996 and had fallen to 6.5 percent by 2020. Last year, the prevalence of past-month marijuana use fell to 19.5 percent among 12th-graders, 10.1 percent among 10th-graders, and 4.1 percent among eighth-graders. Those numbers were the lowest recorded since the early 1990s. Read More > at Reason
A ‘radical shift’ at the border is making things tougher for Biden – There’s a big change in who’s coming to the US-Mexico border. A large number of migrants from Mexico and the Northern Triangle are still making the journey. But the number of migrants from other countries has significantly increased.
Back in 2007, the number of migrants in this “other” category was negligible. But since then, it’s grown dramatically — 11,000% — with the sharpest increase in just the past two years.
US Border Patrol encounters still show more migrants from Mexico attempting to cross the Southwest border in July than from any other individual country. But so far this fiscal year, for the first time, encounters with migrants from outside Mexico and the Northern Triangle are outpacing encounters with migrants from either of those regions.
A handful of countries make up a large portion of this growing group at the border. The number of times US Border Patrol officials at the Southwest border encountered migrants from Cuba, Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela has increased dramatically over the past two years.
…Other factors are also at play. An increase in Cubans making their way to the US, Meissner says, can be partially attributed to a new air route between Cuba and Nicaragua. CNN’s Patrick Oppmann reported that after Nicaragua dropped its visa requirements for Cubans, people began posting online ads selling their homes with “everything inside” to pay for the expensive airfare.
Deteriorating economic conditions, food shortages and limited access to health care are increasingly pushing Venezuelans to leave, and a growing Venezuelan community in the United States is also a draw, Meissner says.
For Colombians and Nicaraguans, economic instability — compounded by the pandemic — has been the main driver of migration, she says, but politics are also playing a role. Read More > at CNN
Mexican Drug Cartels Propel America’s Fentanyl Crisis – The Sinaloa and Jalisco organizations are a dominant source of the synthetic opioid, a leading cause of the U.S.’s record overdoses
The two cartels are named for their respective strongholds in states on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Sinaloa is a decades-old criminal organization deeply embedded in the economy, politics and culture of Mexico’s wild northwest, analysts and officials said. Jalisco, farther south, is a relative upstart, and has violently challenged Sinaloa for market share.
Fentanyl production is simpler than heroin, because it is entirely synthetic and doesn’t require cultivating the poppies needed for heroin. Busts of Mexican labs or large seizures at the border can be quickly offset by new batches without having to wait to harvest crops or pay farmers.
It is also less expensive to make. The plant-based opium needed to produce a kilogram of heroin can cost producers about $6,000, while the precursor chemicals to make a kilogram of fentanyl cost $200 or less, according to Bryce Pardo, associate director of the Rand Corp.’s Drug Policy Research Center, who helped lead a recent bipartisan report on synthetic opioids.
Heroin’s profile has been shrinking as fentanyl becomes more available. Some Mexican poppy farmers in the mountains of Sinaloa say they have lost income as cartels shift away from heroin, and have abandoned their fields.
The Sinaloa cartel is the market leader, said Renato Sales, Mexico’s former security chief. U.S. and Mexican officials likened it to how a company works, manufacturing and marketing an array of illegal drugs and cultivating links to suppliers in dozens of countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. The cartel is believed to have different units handling jobs such as security, money laundering, transportation, production and the bribing of public officials.
…Mexican cartels were primed to take advantage. They already had established trafficking networks built around drugs like cocaine, marijuana and heroin, said Uttam Dhillon, who served as acting DEA administrator under Mr. Trump. And they had relationships with Chinese chemical makers, and expertise running drugmaking labs, through their production of methamphetamine, another synthetic drug they are sending to the U.S., Mr. Dhillon said. Read More > in The Wall Street Journal
Strips to test drinks and pills for ‘date rape’ drugs and fentanyl are finally legal in California – On Monday, Aug. 29, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill by Assemblymember Laurie Davies, R-Laguna Niguel, legalizing the possession of those funky kits that test pills et al. for the presence of deadly fentanyl, as well as strips that screen drinks for “date rape” drugs like ketamine and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid.
Until now, they fell under the definition of “illegal drug paraphernalia” and were officially verboten in the Golden State.
The new law, Assembly Bill 1598, “is an innovative step in California’s ongoing battle to rid our neighborhoods of dangerous drugs and actually get addicted users the help they need,” Davies said by email Tuesday during the final, frenetic days of the Legislative session.
“Legalizing testing equipment for drugs like fentanyl or ketamine … can empower parents, school officials and law enforcement to have these products readily available to ensure if there are drugs found, we can prevent accidental overdoses and deaths,” she said. Read More > in The Mercury News
Americans really aren’t whipped up over climate change: Polls – The bombardment from the media and Biden administration that the public faces every day over the possible hurt of global warming and climate change is apparently having little impact, according to a series of unrelated new surveys on the issue.
In the latest polls released Tuesday, Americans listed concern about climate change low as they face more immediate issues related to the economy and inflation.
While the media has harped all summer about the heat and drought crushing the Western United States and Europe, for example, a new global Pew survey said Americans find it the least of their worries versus nine of 19 nations that say it’s their top concern.
Pew said the U.S. joined Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea in listing climate change last versus such nations as the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and France, which said it is the biggest threat to their country.
Instead, the issue worrying Americans most, and cited by 71%, was “cyber attacks from other countries.”
Pew blamed politics. “Despite the dire concerns about climate change in Europe, concerns are relatively muted in the U.S., as they have been for years. Views on climate change as a threat are linked to political divisiveness in the U.S., something also seen in the other countries surveyed, with those on the ideological left showing more concern about climate change than those on the right,” said the survey outfit.
In fact, it found that the U.S. is host to the biggest political divide on climate change, a 63-point gap between the Right that isn’t concerned and the Left that is.
Meanwhile, an Ipsos survey just in also put the issue far down on the list of what concerns respondents.
Just 8% cited “environment and climate” as the most important issue facing the U.S., which, they said, is the economy, at 29%. Read More > in the Washington Examiner
California lawmakers reject bill to allow their staff to unionize at the state Capitol – For the fourth time in five years, the California Legislature rejected a bill to allow its staff to unionize, parting with other West Coast states that have approved similar legislation to try to improve workplace conditions and offset power imbalances between politicians and their legislative staff.
The bill died after Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) initially refused to allow a vote in his committee on the final night before the lawmakers adjourned for the year. Cooper reversed his decision minutes later and allowed a vote on the bill, which failed to earn enough support for passage.
“The reason I held this is not to make these folks take a hard vote,” Cooper said when he spoke in opposition of the legislation. “So you can get on Twitter. I don’t care. You can get on Facebook. I don’t care. It’s doing what’s right.”
For decades, legislative employees have not received the same right to unionize as other private and public sector workers despite the Democratic Legislature’s close ties with unions at the state Capitol. Read More > in the Los Angeles Times
Why even environmentalists are supporting nuclear power today – Resistance to nuclear power is starting to ebb around the world with support from a surprising group: environmentalists.
This change of heart spans the globe, and is being prompted by climate change, unreliable electrical grids and fears about national security in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In California, the state’s last remaining power plant — Diablo Canyon, situated on the Pacific Coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles — long scheduled to be scrapped, may now remain open. Governor Gavin Newsom, a longtime opponent of the plant, is seeking to extend its lifespan through at least 2029.
Last week, Japan’s prime minister said the country is restarting idled nuclear plants and considering building new ones. This is a sharp reversal for the country that largely abandoned nuclear after the tsunami-led disaster at the Fukushima plant in 2011.
Germany pulled the plug on nuclear after Fukushima, too. But this summer there’s been an intense debate in Germany over whether to restart three plants in response to the country’s severe energy crisis prompted by the Russia-Ukraine war. Read More > at NPR
For the first time in 25 years, August did not have a named storm – now September is starting off with a possible hurricane – It isn’t your imagination. The tropics in the Atlantic have been very quiet this year despite a forecast from NOAA and other experts forecasting an above-average season.
For the first time in 25 years, the month of August did not have a named storm. But as the calendar turned to September, things appear to have changed rather quickly in the tropical Atlantic.
At 11 a.m. Thursday, the National Hurricane Center announced that Tropical Depression Five had strengthened into Tropical Storm Danielle.
The storm, currently in the North Atlantic, is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by Saturday. Danielle is not a threat to any land at this time and is expected to remain nearly stationary through the weekend.
“Since 1950, two Augusts have had no Atlantic named storm formations: 1961 and 1997,” tweeted Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University.
And it’s not just August. Klotzbach also tweeted:
“For the first time since 1941, the Atlantic has had no named storm (e.g., tropical storm or #hurricane) activity from July 3rd-August 30th.”
But the trend may not continue. Read More > at CNN
One in five home sellers is now dropping their asking price as the housing market cools – Home sellers are getting nervous, as the once hot housing market cools fast.
One in five sellers in August dropped their asking price, according to Realtor.com. A year ago that share was just 11%.
The average home sold for less than its list price for the first time in over 17 months during the four-week period ended Aug. 28, according to a report by Redfin.
Homes are simply not selling at the breakneck pace they were six months ago, when strong demand butted up against tight supply, bidding wars were the norm, and a seller could often get a signed contract in under a weekend. Homes in August sat on the market an average five days longer than they did a year ago — the first annual increase in time on the market in over two years.
The supply of homes for sale is also rising fast, up nearly 27% from a year ago, even as fewer sellers decide to list. Pending sales in July, which represent signed contracts on existing homes and which are the most recent sales data available, were nearly 20% lower than July 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. Read More > at CNBC
One in 24.1 septillion: Prosecutors insist proof they have Sunnyvale cold case killer is in the blood – One in 24.1 septillion.
After 40 years with no leads, Santa Clara County District Attorney Barbara Cathcart stood outside a courtroom Monday and said the DNA evidence investigators now have from a 75-year-old Hawaii man is such a supreme match to the 1982 murder of a Palo Alto teenager, it would take an incomprehensible number — a septillion has 24 zeroes — to prove otherwise.
“The probability of selecting an unrelated individual from the population at random that has this DNA profile is one in 24.1 septillion,” Cathcart said. “There, of course, are not that many people on the planet Earth nor multiple planet Earths.”
They are confident Gary Gene Ramirez is the one. Now 75, he wobbled on a cane into a Santa Clara County courtroom for the first time on Monday and faced charges of kidnap, rape and murder.
Police were stymied for decades trying to solve the murder of Karen Stitt, a 15-year-old Palo Alto High School student who spent the evening at Sunnyvale Golfland with her boyfriend and was waiting alone for the bus around midnight on Sept. 2, 1982, when she was abducted, raped and stabbed 59 times.
The DNA from the killer’s blood found on Karen’s jacket and on the cinder block wall next to where her body was found the next morning didn’t match any DNA from the criminal database, suggesting her killer had never been arrested before or since.
It wasn’t until 2018, after forensic genealogy techniques helped apprehend and convict the Golden State Killer, that Sunnyvale Police and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office had new hope they could track down Karen’s killer, even 40 years later. Read More > in The Mercury News
Hard-up Americans are now taking out loans to pay for GROCERIES using ‘buy now, pay later’ apps which offer instant credit but can charge hefty fees for late payments – A growing number of Americans are using ‘buy now, pay later’ services to purchase basic goods such as groceries, raising concerns about consumers taking on more debt.
Installment-pay services such as Klarna and Afterpay offer interest-free short-term loans to cover purchases, but the fines for late payments can be steep, and critics fear their ease of use could lure shoppers into dangerous debt.
In 2021, $45.9 billion in pay-later transactions were made online, a sharp increase from $15.3 billion the year before, according to a GlobalData analysis reported by the New York Times.
Food accounted for about 6 percent of the purchases last year, but seems to be an important part of the sector’s explosive growth, as the soaring cost of groceries in the US raises the appeal of deferred payments.
Sweden-based Klarna, for instance, reported that grocery or household items accounted for more than half of the top 100 items purchased through the app.
Zip, a company founded in Australia, says it has seen 95 percent growth in US grocery purchases, and 64 percent in restaurant transactions. Read More > in the Daily Mail