Consumer price inflation remains muted
The cost of living in the U.S. rose as projected in September as fuel charges climbed, capping the smallest year-to-year gain in five months. The consumer price index increased 0.2 percent, matching the median forecast of 86 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, after rising 0.1 percent the prior month, Labor Department data showed. Stripping out volatile food and fuel, the so-called core measure climbed 0.1 percent for a second month, less than projected. With inflation running below the Federal Reserve’s goal, the central bank has more flexibility to maintain its $85 billion-a-month bond buying program. Companies such as McDonald’s Corp. that are trying to pass on higher commodity costs risk spurning value-conscious customers.
PwC to buy consulting firm Booz & Co.
PricewaterhouseCoopers said that it had agreed to buy the consulting firm Booz & Co., bolstering its advisory business, a chief source of growth for the firm. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, although Booz & Co. is expected to be PricewaterhouseCoopers’ biggest acquisition in several years. Still, the union of the two firms is likely to bring scrutiny from regulatory agencies around the world as it again raises the issue of an accounting firm’s buildup of a consulting business that could pose conflicts of interest.
Mosaic to sell operations in Argentina, Chile
Mosaic Co., the Plymouth-based phosphate-fertilizer producer, is selling its Argentina and Chile operations after revising its global strategy based on growth in potash and phosphate. “After significant evaluation and review, Mosaic has decided to pursue a sale of our operations,” Rob Litt, a Mosaic spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “We will immediately begin preparations for a sale process and will work quickly to complete a transaction.” Mosaic produces phosphate north of Buenos Aires in a factory near Rosario, Argentina, and handles distribution from Chile.
Private sector hiring down, ADP report says
Business hiring slowed this month, with the private sector adding just 130,000 net new jobs as the partial government shutdown hit an already weakening labor market, payroll processor ADP said. The figure was below the 150,000 average monthly job growth in the sector in the previous year as the hiring in the service sector fell off in October, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which assists ADP in the monthly report. Government contractors were affected by the 16-day government shutdown, and the fiscal impasse probably caused small companies to hold off on hiring, Zandi said.
FROM NEWS SERVICES