Content about Economics

August 9, 2011

Walgreens is planning to sell health insurance as soon as this fall, CNNMoney reported Tuesday morning.

NEW YORK — Walgreens is planning to sell health insurance as soon as this fall, CNNMoney reported Tuesday morning.

Walgreens declined to comment on the matter, according to the report.

The Chicago-based pharmacy-and-more operator would sell health insurance products with different price ranges and coverage levels across its network nationwide through a private health insurance exchange, CNNMoney reported, citing people familiar with the plan.

August 8, 2011

The U.S. economy still has a pulse, as evidenced in the slight increase of jobs in July as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy still has a pulse, as evidenced in the slight increase of jobs in July as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. According to the latest employment figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, 117,000 jobs were added in July, with the greatest job gains coming in health care (31,000), retail (26,000) and the manufacture of durable goods (more than 24,000). The unemployment was little changed, dropping to 9.1%, the BLS reported.

The question is whether that pulse is strengthening or weakening.

July 29, 2011

Lowering the maximum corporate tax rate could allow CVS Caremark to accelerate investments in U.S. jobs, technology and infrastructure — all of which could ultimately help lower healthcare costs and bolster the economy. That was a key message that CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo had for the Senate Finance Committee during a recent hearing.

WASHINGTON — Lowering the maximum corporate tax rate could allow CVS Caremark to accelerate investments in U.S. jobs, technology and infrastructure — all of which could ultimately help lower healthcare costs and bolster the economy. That was a key message that CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo had for the Senate Finance Committee during a recent hearing.

July 26, 2011

Financial services firm Credit Suisse tabulated total basket increases of 2.7% year over year and 1% month over month for retail.

NEW YORK — Financial services firm Credit Suisse tabulated total basket increases of 2.7% year over year and 1% month over month for retail.

“Our monthly pricing survey in Dallas and Chicago showed that all retailers raised prices on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis with the exception of Jewel [a Supervalu banner operating in Chicago],” Credit Suisse research analyst Ed Kelly wrote in a note published Monday.

July 26, 2011

The bursting of the housing market bubble and the recession that followed took a greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites, especially Hispanics, whose median household wealth plunged 66% from 2005 to 2009, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009.

NEW YORK — The bursting of the housing market bubble and the recession that followed took a greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites, especially Hispanics, whose median household wealth plunged 66% from 2005 to 2009, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009.

July 11, 2011

Weis Markets announced it has lowered the prices on 1,600 staple items and that it will freeze these new lower prices for 90 days through Oct. 8.

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets announced it has lowered the prices on 1,600 staple items and that it will freeze these new lower prices for 90 days through Oct. 8. It is the company's seventh 90-day price freeze program over the past two and a half years.

June 23, 2011

Nielsen unveiled this week at its Consumer 360 conference its new approach to product development, which is said to improve companies' chances of success when bringing new products to market.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Nielsen unveiled this week at its Consumer 360 conference its new approach to product development, which is said to improve companies' chances of success when bringing new products to market.

June 22, 2011

Mr. Bubble, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, has announced the launch of two new products: Mr. Bubble Fizzy Bubble Bomb and the Mr. Bubble Foam Soap twin pack.

CHASKA, Minn. — Mr. Bubble, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, has announced the launch of two new products: Mr. Bubble Fizzy Bubble Bomb and the Mr. Bubble Foam Soap twin pack.

Shaped like the Mr. Bubble character, the original Bubble- or Bubbleberry-scent Bath Bombs add bubbles and color to bath water. They are available in pink and blue. The mixed shelf display holds 12 fizzy Bubble Bombs. They have a suggested retail price of $1.49 each.

June 20, 2011

If the Justin Bieber-inspired nail lacquer shades, One Less Lonely Girl, from Nicole by OPI are any indication of the success of Bieber-related 
products, then his upcoming women’s fragrance, “Someday,” is bound to spark Bieber fever.


CLOSTER, N.J. — If the Justin Bieber-inspired nail lacquer shades, One Less Lonely Girl, from Nicole by OPI are any indication of the success of Bieber-related 
products, then his upcoming women’s fragrance, “Someday,” is bound to spark Bieber fever.


The fragrance debuted in June in partnership with Give Back Brands, a new lifestyle products company committed to donating its proceeds to charity. The fragrance is hitting select specialty stores in June and reportedly will be priced between $35 and $55.


June 14, 2011

Rising unemployment claims, coupled with rising food and energy prices, prompted a decline in consumer spending outlook for May, according to Deloitte.

NEW YORK — Rising unemployment claims, coupled with rising food and energy prices, prompted a decline in consumer spending outlook for May, according to Deloitte.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, which is comprised of four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — fell to 2.66%, from an upwardly revised gain of 3.29% a month ago.

June 14, 2011

Many American consumers are in favor of oral contraceptive coverage by both private and government-subsidized health insurance plans, according to a Thomson Reuters-National Press Radio Health Poll released Friday.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Many American consumers are in favor of oral contraceptive coverage by both private and government-subsidized health insurance plans, according to a Thomson Reuters-National Press Radio Health Poll released Friday.

"Our survey findings provide a benchmark for public sentiment on issues that are continually dividing lawmakers, businesspeople and healthcare professionals," said Raymond Fabius, chief medical officer at the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters.

June 7, 2011

As evidenced by the 10% upswing in Better Business Bureau complaints over 2009, Consumer Reports will be sharing its survey around a consumer outcry of poor customer service in its July 2011 issue.

YONKERS, N.Y. — As evidenced by the 10% upswing in Better Business Bureau complaints over 2009, Consumer Reports will be sharing its survey around a consumer outcry of poor customer service in its July 2011 issue.

June 3, 2011

Walmart's board of directors has approved a new program authorizing the company to repurchase $15 billion of its shares, the company announced at its 41st annual meeting of shareholders Friday.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart's board of directors has approved a new program authorizing the company to repurchase $15 billion of its shares, the company announced at its 41st annual meeting of shareholders Friday.

This program replaces the previous $15 billion program, announced on June 4, 2010, that had approximately $2 billion of remaining authorization. Under the program, repurchased shares are retired constructively and returned to unissued status.

May 19, 2011

The National Retail Federation on Wednesday launched a 60-day lobbying, grassroots and media campaign aimed at ensuring that a new federal law — which is designed to save retailers and their customers more than $1 billion a month by lowering the “swipe fees" banks charge to process debit card transactions — takes effect in late July as scheduled.

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation on Wednesday launched a 60-day lobbying, grassroots and media campaign aimed at ensuring that a new federal law — which is designed to save retailers and their customers more than $1 billion a month by lowering the “swipe fees" banks charge to process debit card transactions — takes effect in late July as scheduled.

May 17, 2011

OPI Products has inked a deal with the Miss Universe Organization to launch the Miss Universe Collection, with colors to be revealed June 14 in Las Vegas at a special event surrounding the 2011 Miss USA Pageant.

LOS ANGELES — OPI Products has inked a deal with the Miss Universe Organization to launch the Miss Universe Collection, with colors to be revealed June 14 in Las Vegas at a special event surrounding the 2011 Miss USA Pageant.

The reigning Miss USA, Rima Fakih; Miss Universe, Ximena Navarrete; and the Miss USA contestants will help OPI unveil the Miss Universe Collection at a private reception at Color, A Salon by Michael Boychuck at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

May 11, 2011

A new line of bubble products and toys sold under the Mr. Bubbles brand may soon make its way to retail.

LOS ANGELES — A new line of bubble products and toys sold under the Mr. Bubbles brand may soon make its way to retail.

Super Rad Industries announced that it is slated to manufacture and distribute a variety of products, including the original Mr. Bubbles in a bottle and the Mr. Bubbles figure bank, through a licensing deal that currently is being negotiated between the two companies. Super Rad also said that it is planning to develop a line of licensed Mr. Bubbles products that will feature some of the most well-known brands and characters.

April 25, 2011

NEW YORK — Within the next three months, a gallon of gas is expected to exceed $4.11, which previously marked the highest historical U.S. retail price set in July 2008. Prior to that, the highest that gas prices had ever been was $3.46 in March 1981. 


April 21, 2011

Weis Markets on Thursday reported a 7% increase in sales, to $18.6 million, for the 13 weeks ended March 26.

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Thursday reported a 7% increase in sales, to $18.6 million, for the 13 weeks ended March 26.

Basic and diluted earnings per share increased 6.2% to 69 cents per share, Weis reported.

Same-store sales were up 0.6%.

April 20, 2011

A survey released Tuesday by Deloitte found that consumer purchasing power was negatively impacted during the month of March.

NEW YORK — A survey released Tuesday by Deloitte found that consumer purchasing power was negatively impacted during the month of March.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index tumbled to 3.62% from nearly 4.1% in the prior month. Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly index, Carl Steidtmann, said that despite the economic recovery, consumers don't have the motivation to spend.

April 6, 2011

U.S. consumers that opted to become more thrifty during the recession will face rising food costs with ease as they've mastered ways to stretch their money, according to new research by NPD.

CHICAGO — U.S. consumers that opted to become more thrifty during the recession will face rising food costs with ease as they've mastered ways to stretch their money, according to new research by NPD.

The research group's Economy Tracker found that nearly 3-out-of-4 consumers (74%) strongly agreed that they expect coupons and special deals will be much more important in deciding what to buy, while 67% said that they would shop less in general and 53% said that they would be buying in bulk.

March 30, 2011

The law firm of Brower Piven on Tuesday announced that a class action lawsuit has commenced in the Delaware Chancery Court on behalf of all shareholders of Drugstore.com, alleging violations of state law by the company’s board of directors relating to the proposed acquisition by Walgreens.

STEVENSON, Md. — The law firm of Brower Piven on Tuesday announced that a class action lawsuit has commenced in the Delaware Chancery Court on behalf of all shareholders of Drugstore.com, alleging violations of state law by the company’s board of directors relating to the proposed acquisition by Walgreens.

The complaint alleged that Drugstore.com's board of directors breached their fiduciary duties by failing to maximize shareholder value, among other things.

March 29, 2011

One could say that a job with the Food and Drug Administration would be the perfect way to get information about upcoming drug approvals and use it to profit handsomely from buying stock in the companies that manufacture the drugs before the information reaches the public.

WASHINGTON — One could say that a job with the Food and Drug Administration would be the perfect way to get information about upcoming drug approvals and use it to profit handsomely from buying stock in the companies that manufacture the drugs before the information reaches the public.

Of course, the Securities and Exchange Commission would consider that illegal insider trading, as one FDA scientist recently discovered.

March 18, 2011

Food prices reached peak levels last month, according to the Labor Department's Producer Price Index.

NEW YORK — Food prices reached peak levels last month, according to the Labor Department's Producer Price Index.

The index noted that the month of February experienced a surge of 3.9% in food prices, the largest increase since a 4.2% climb reported in November 1974. PPI also noted that about 70% of the February rise can be attributed to higher prices for fresh and dry vegetables, which jumped 48.7%.

March 16, 2011

The National Retail Federation said legislation introduced Tuesday to delay swipe fee reform, which is scheduled to go into effect this summer, would block retailers from giving discounts to consumers who use debit cards and would cost merchants and the public more than $1 billion per month.

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation said legislation introduced Tuesday to delay swipe fee reform, which is scheduled to go into effect this summer, would block retailers from giving discounts to consumers who use debit cards and would cost merchants and the public more than $1 billion per month.

March 15, 2011

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rose to more than 4% during the month of February, thanks to slight improvements in two sectors.

NEW YORK — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rose to more than 4% during the month of February, thanks to slight improvements in two sectors.

The index attempts to track consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending and is comprised of four components: unemployment claims, tax burden, real wages and real home prices. It rose to 4.02% from 3.92% in January.