Held back by sluggish wages, retail sales fall

  • Updated: June 13, 2012 - 7:53 PM
Held back by sluggish wages, retail sales fall

Retail sales in the U.S. fell in May for a second month, prompting economists to cut forecasts for economic growth as limited job and income gains hold back consumers. The 0.2 percent decrease matched April's drop that was previously reported as a gain, Commerce Department figures showed. Sales excluding car dealerships slumped by the most in two years. The smallest wage gains in a year and unemployment exceeding 8 percent are taking a toll on the consumer spending that accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, leaving it more vulnerable to shocks from the European crisis.

Wholesale prices decline more than expected

Wholesale prices in the U.S. dropped in May by the most since July 2009 as costs of energy and food decreased, easing pressure on companies to pass expenses to customers. The producer price index fell 1 percent, more than forecast, following a 0.2 percent decrease the prior month, Labor Department figures showed. Economists projected a 0.6 percent decline, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The core measure, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, climbed 0.2 percent for a second month.

What's left of Saab is sold to investor group

More than a year after it last made a car, Saab Automobile of Sweden was sold to a group of Chinese, Japanese and Swedish investors who plan to convert the company into a manufacturer of electric vehicles. Saab's bankruptcy administrators said in a statement that the company was being acquired by National Electric Vehicle Sweden, a company set up for buying Saab assets. The price was not disclosed. Saab was sold by General Motors to Victor Muller, a Dutch entrepreneur, in 2010. But it never recovered from the shock of the financial crisis.

Dell plans $2 billion in cost cuts over 3 years

Dell, the world's third-largest maker of personal computers, will seek to cut costs by more than $2 billion over the next three years as it focuses on data-center gear as well as computing software and services. "As you think about our industry it's constantly in transition," CEO Michael Dell said at a meeting with analysts in Austin, Texas. Costs can be trimmed from the supply chain and sales support, the company said. While PC sales growth is slowing, the company said Wednesday that the unit is driving sales of software, accessories and services.

Man U IPO could be coming to United States

Manchester United Ltd., the record 19-time English soccer champion, is exploring moving its initial public offering to the U.S. from Asia as it seeks to secure the best valuation, Bloomberg News reported. United, which previously planned to raise about $1 billion in Singapore, hasn't made a final decision, Bloomberg said, citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the plans.

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