The day’s business news at a glance
US consumer spending up a solid 0.4 percent in July
Consumer spending, bolstered by strong job growth and tax cuts, rose a solid 0.4 percent in July, the sixth straight month of healthy gains, while a key measure of inflation posted the largest annual increase in more than six years.
The Commerce Department said the July spending gain followed a similar 0.4 percent rise in June.
China to move at own
pace despite US pressure
China said it will make economic changes at its own pace regardless of U.S. pressure and that their spiraling dispute over technology can only be settled through talks as equals.
A Commerce Ministry spokesman gave no indication of possible plans for more negotiations after talks last week in Washington ended without progress. The two sides have raised tariffs on $50 billion of each other’s products. The Trump administration is poised to add penalties on another $200 billion of Chinese goods.
Mexico-US trade deal unlikely to boost wages
Many in the U.S. government, and even some in Mexico, said the new trade agreement between the two countries will help increase the extremely low wages in Mexico’s auto industry.
But activists said the trade agreement won’t do that until Mexico changes its labor laws and eliminates pro-company “protection contracts” that effectively leave workers helpless.
Average 30-year mortgage rate inches up to 4.52%
Long-term U.S. mortgage rates ticked up this week as borrowing costs are meaningfully higher than a year ago.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose slightly to 4.52 percent from 4.51 percent last week. The rate averaged 3.82 percent a year ago.
Abercrombie & Fitch’s
2Q sales fall short
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reported that sales in the second-quarter fell short of Wall Street estimates, as its Hollister division sold out of its summer clothing too soon in an unusually hot summer in Europe.
Shares fell more than 17 percent Thursday, even as the teen retailer’s adjusted profit beat Wall Street expectations.
Travelers to Hawaii’s Big Island drop 12.7% in July
Hawaii’s Big Island continued to experience sharp declines in visitors and tourism spending last month amid Kilauea volcano’s eruption.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Thursday the number of travelers to the island sank 12.7 percent in July compared to the same month last year. Spending by visitors declined 7.2 percent to $201 million.
Canada court halts Pacific pipeline in blow to Trudeau
Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal has halted the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would nearly triple the flow of oil from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast. It’s a setback that comes just as the government is buying the project.
The court is ordering the country’s National Energy Board to redo its review of the pipeline, saying the original study was flawed.
Canadian envoy says she is ‘encouraged’ by talks
Canada’s top trade negotiator said she’s “encouraged” by ongoing talks aimed at overhauling the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters, “We continue to be encouraged by the constructive atmosphere that I think both countries are bringing to the table.”