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Around the business world

Daily Staff Report

Inflation hits home for lower income groups: CHICAGO – Wall Street is worried about inflation. So are most Americans, who are increasingly feeling the squeeze of higher prices, not only at the gas pump but in the cost of groceries, delivery charges, travel and numerous other items. Inflation at the wholesale level slowed in May after two big months of increases. However, the Producer Price Index’s core rate of inflation, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.3 percent in May, higher than economists were forecasting.Best Buy’s profit surges on sales of big ticket items: MINNEAPOLIS – Best Buy Co. Inc., the nation’s biggest consumer electronics retailer, says first-quarter profit rose almost 38 percent as customers bought more big-ticket items like flat-panel TVs and cost-cutting measures took effect. Its shares rise more than 3 percent.

Goldman 2Q earnings more than double: NEW YORK – Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reports second-quarter profit more than doubled, as stronger investment banking and trading help shield the Wall Street investment house from recent volatile market conditions.Union plans $700 million investment in New Orleans projects: NEW ORLEANS – The AFL-CIO plans to invest $700 million of its pension fund money in Hurricane Katrina-hobbled New Orleans, a substantial private investment in rebuilding projects ranging from housing to health care. The funding is designed to make money for the labor group and generate union construction jobs in a region where there is more rebuilding work than skilled laborers available, said the union’s president.UAW members seek stronger stance against plant closings, layoffs: LAS VEGAS – Auto workers whose plants are scheduled for closure as part of restructuring plans at GM and Ford were expected to call for tougher bargaining against such closures. But the resolutions could conflict with UAW President Ron Gettelfinger’s call for new thinking in talks with domestic carmakers.

Mattel, Cartoon Network ink deal: NEW YORK – Cartoon Network Enterprises, the consumer products division of the children’s cable TV network, pens a worldwide licensing deal with Mattel Inc., the world’s largest toy maker, to produce action figures, puzzles and other toys tied to its children’s TV shows.NBC goes digital in Emmy award campaigning: LOS ANGELES – NBC is going digital to push two of its shows for Emmy Award consideration. In a recent front cover ad promoting “The Office” in the trade paper Variety, NBC affixed a credit card with a code that allowed Emmy voters (or anyone else) to download a free episode from Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes video store. While the traditional campaign method of sending DVDs in elaborate packaging to voters won’t end soon, some observers see the day when all viewing – and even voting – is done online.China’s largest lender wants to go public: BEIJING – China’s largest lender, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Ltd., plans to apply next week for an initial public offering in Hong Kong in September, a state-run newspaper reported.

Iraq oil flowing again: BAGHDAD – Oil exports from Iraq’s northern fields have resumed more than four months after insurgents sabotaged twin pipelines carrying Iraqi crude to Turkey, oil officials said.From Russia with love: MOSCOW – General Motors Corp. breaks ground on its first fully-owned plant in Russia, joining the rush by foreign automakers to get in on the country’s burgeoning car market.Vail, Colorado


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