Prices Rise Just Slightly in April
The consumer price index rose just 0.2 percent last month, the Labor Department reported today. Not counting food and energy prices, which have spiked recently, inflation went up 0.1 percent. Food prices had their biggest increase since 1990, at 0.9 percent. Meanwhile, gasoline prices actually fell 2 percent, but natural gas costs jumped up 4.8 percent. Core inflation—overall inflation, excluding food and energy—is up 2.3 percent compared with April 2007, and for the past three months it has increased at a 1.2 percent annual rate.
U.S. News reporters have explored ways to deal with the global rise in food prices.
Foreclosures Up 65 Percent From Last Year
There were more than 243,000 new foreclosure filings against U.S. homes in April, according to research firm RealtyTrac. That's a 65 percent increase compared with April 2007. It's also a 4 percent increase from March of this year. All but eight states saw an increase in foreclosures, with Nevada, California, Florida, and Arizona being in the worst shape. The report says that overall, about 2 percent of households in the country were in some part of the foreclosure process.
Luke Mullins looked at business opportunities created by foreclosures.
Sony Profits Fail to Meet Estimates
Sony today reported a $290 million profit in the first three months of the year, compared with a loss in the same period in 2007. But the company had forecasted even better performance. Revenue was up 6.9 percent. Sony's PlayStation 3, which has seen disappointing sales, may be seeing better days thanks to a price cut last fall.
David LaGesse analyzed Sony's strategy of reducing prices on its PlayStation 3 in his Dave's Download blog.
Macy's Posts First-Quarter Loss
Macy's announced today a $59 million loss in the first quarter. The department store chain had made a $36 million profit in the same quarter in 2007. Revenue stood at $5.7 billion for the first three months of the year, down from $5.9 billion last year. The chain reported a 2.6 percent drop in same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year. Macy's says it will not alter its earnings forecast for the year despite the first-quarter numbers.