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The Journal Gazette

Friday, January 12, 2018 1:00 am


Wholesale prices fall last month

News services

WASHINGTON – U.S. wholesale prices fell 0.1 percent in December from November, led by cheaper food and lower shipping costs.

The Labor Department said Thursday that wholesale prices, which measure the cost of goods before they reach the consumer, increased 2.6 percent last month compared with the previous year. Excluding volatile food, energy and business profit margins, core wholesale prices ticked up 0.1 percent last month and 2.3 percent from a year ago.

The figures suggest inflation pressures have cooled at the wholesale level. Wholesale prices had risen 0.4 percent in three of the past four months, mostly because of much higher energy costs. In December, energy prices were flat while food costs fell 0.7 percent.

With unemployment at a low 4.1 percent and the economy expanding, economists are closely monitoring price indexes for any signs of inflation.

Samsung sued over its labor practices

Two French rights groups have sued electronics giant Samsung, accusing it of misleading advertising because of alleged labor abuses at factories in China and South Korea.

It's the latest labor challenge to Samsung, which has faced growing health complaints from workers in recent years, even as profits soar thanks to its blockbuster semiconductor business.

The unusual lawsuit filed Thursday in Paris court by groups Sherpa and ActionAid France names Samsung Global, headquartered in Suwon, South Korea, and its French subsidiary. It is now up to the court to decide whether to take up the case.

It accuses Samsung of “deceptive trade practices,” based on documents from China Labor Watch and others alleging violations including exploitation of children, excessive working hours and use of dangerous equipment and gases.

Lutheran CEO to speak at local YMCA

Women on the Move will host a reception Monday for new Lutheran Hospital CEO Paula Autry at the Renaissance Pointe YMCA, 2323 Bowser Ave.

Monday's reception is free and open to the public, although the room capacity is 80. Doors open at 5 p.m. for the event, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Autry will speak at 5:45 p.m., and the program will end at 7 p.m.

Women on the Move is a collaboration of women working to enlighten, enhance and educate people about issues that effect Fort Wayne. The group includes business owners, doctors, corporate professionals and working moms.

“Many community members have never had the opportunity to meet the CEOs of their local hospital one-on-one,” Dr. Emmary Butler, a local physician, said in a news release.

Delta profit down 8% in last quarter

Delta Air Lines reported Thursday that fourth-quarter profit slipped 8 percent, but the results still beat expectations as average prices for passengers continued to creep higher.

The airline also raised its forecast of 2018 earnings, partly because it expects that a new, lower tax rate on businesses will help spur corporate travel.

Delta, which earned nearly $3.6 billion in 2017, doesn't pay income taxes because it is able to offset income with billions of dollars in losses from previous years. But the company expects to start paying taxes in 2019 or 2020 and believes that the new law will eventually cut its tax bill by $800 million a year or more..