Government spending hits all-time high |

Government spending hits all-time high

Daily Staff Report

Government spending hits all-time high: WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department reported that government spending hit an all-time high for a single month in March, totaling $250 billion.Chinese buying American: WASHINGTON – The Chinese are engaged in a multibillion-dollar buying spree of all things American, from soybeans to Boeing jetliners, and the huge U.S. trade deficit with China dropped unexpectedly in February. But the Bush administration said more trade concessions are needed when President Hu Jintao visits the White House next week.Gas futures in turmoil: NEW YORK – Gasoline futures rose after the United States reported a large drop in gasoline inventories, adding to supply worries that have already been heightened by political turmoil in Nigeria and Iran, two of the world’s biggest oil producers.Ken Lay’s OK, pal says: HOUSTON – Former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling spoke up for company founder Kenneth Lay in the pair’s fraud and conspiracy trial, saying on his third day of testimony they were a “good team” that committed no crimes.Wal-Mart inventory cuts creating headaches: NEW YORK – As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. looked across its operations to find ways of cutting costs, it found it had a problem that afflicts many businesses: too much inventory. So the world’s biggest retailer is on a campaign to cut the amount of merchandise it buys, a move that’s creating some short-term pain for a broad range of suppliers from consumer product makers Procter & Gamble Co. and Spectrum Brands Inc. to cosmetic company Elizabeth Arden Inc.British brewer reports record year: LONDON – Brewer SABMiller PLC sold 5 percent more beer, excluding its new South American business, in its latest financial year amid strong demand from Europe and Asia.Vail, Colorado

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