January 11, 2013 |
CARACAS, Venezuela - As perishable foodstuffs rotted on cargo ships that had waited three weeks to unload at Venezuela's largest port, unsettled consumers this week found shelves at Caracas' main downtown market devoid of rice, cooking oil, sugar and other items. Widespread scarcities and chaos at the nation's main ports, including Puerto Cabello, are just some of the problems Vice President Nicolas Maduro will face as he takes the reins of power in the absence of President Hugo Chavez.
December 18, 2012 |
The details of the deal being worked out by President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are in flux, but the bad news is that one element that seems to be all but decided is -- there's no other way to put it -- a benefit cut for Social Security. The instrument of this egregious and totally unnecessary cut is the "chained" consumer price index, which will be replace the conventional CPI in adjusting Social Security benefits to inflation. The key point to note is that the chained CPI rises at a consistently slower level than its traditional cousin.
December 13, 2012 |
Wholesale prices slipped 0.8% last month for the second straight month as gasoline prices plunged. In its deepest dip since May, the Labor Department's producer price index fell 0.8% in November after sliding 0.2% in October. The index rose 1.1% in September . A major factor? Plummeting gas prices, which sank 10.1% after spiking 9.8% just two months earlier. At the moment, a gallon of regular gas costs $3.30 on average nationwide, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge , down from $3.44 a month ago. The gasoline tumble made up more than 90% of the overall 4.6% drop in energy prices -- the most substantial fall since March 2009. Quiz: The year in business Food costs, however, more than made up for the energy dip by rising for the sixth straight month in a row. The 1.3% increase is the largest in nearly two years.
December 13, 2012 |
The Federal Reserve said it intends to continue aggressive measures to stimulate the economy and made a major policy shift to focus more directly on boosting the job market. Fed policymakers said they would keep interest rates at historically low levels until unemployment drops below 6.5%. It's likely to keep the Fed's short-term interest rates at historically low levels well into 2015. The move marked the first time that Fed policymakers have tied themselves to an explicit unemployment goal.
November 8, 2012 |
Hyundai and Kia are facing a new lawsuit over inflated fuel economy claims. This case, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, challenges the automakers' plan to give owners of about 900,000 late-model vehicles special debit cards to make up for the autos not getting the fuel economy Hyundai and Kia claimed. An Environmental Protection Agency investigation found that the automakers overstated fuel economy ratings for 13 models, including popular models such as the Hyundai Elantra and Kia Sorento.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2012 |
A retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's official says he was ordered by two top managers to manipulate the department's promotional process to benefit certain candidates, according to a sworn statement. Retired Sheriff's Chief Ronnie Williams said that about 2004, Paul Tanaka and Larry Waldie - the current and former undersheriffs - ordered him "to make sure certain individuals were promoted to lieutenant and certain individuals were not promoted to lieutenant. " "Specifically, the scores of the favored individuals were superficially increased and those individuals were promoted," Williams added in a July 2011 declaration reviewed by The Times.
November 2, 2012 |
Busted. The EPA announced Friday that Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America had overstated the fuel economy rating on nearly a million vehicles made from 2011-13. In a statement issued Friday, Hyundai blamed the discrepancy on "procedural errors" at its testing facility in Korea. Photos: Vehicles with overstated fuel economy claims A complete list of affected Hyundai vehicles is here . The list includes the Accent, Elantra, Veloster and Veloster Turbo, Sonata Hybrid, Azera, Genesis, Tucson, and Santa Fe Sport.
November 2, 2012 |
South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America overstated the fuel economy on nearly a million late model vehicles and will issue owners special debit cards to reimburse the extra money they are paying for fuel. The error was announced Friday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which monitors the fuel economy tests by automakers. The mileage on most vehicle labels will be reduced by 1 to 2 miles per gallon, and the largest adjustment will be 6 mpg highway for the Kia Soul, federal regulators said.
October 17, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - For the second straight month, a sharp rise in gasoline prices helped push up prices for consumer goods, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in September from the previous month. Prices also were up 0.6% in August. Before that, inflation had been flat or down for four consecutive months. Higher gasoline costs were again the main culprit in September. Prices at the pump, which have set records recently in California, were up 7% last month, following a 9% increase in August.
October 16, 2012 |
Inflation in China eased slightly in September, giving Chinese policymakers room to provide further economic stimulus measures as they try to stabilize the country's sharpest slowdown since the 2008 financial crisis. Consumer prices grew 1.9% from a year earlier, down from 2% year-over-year growth in August. The gauge is closely watched because high inflation typically sows social discontent among China's massive working class. Over the weekend Chinese officials disclosed that export growth and the money supply had expanded in September more than expected.