Business Briefs – June 14, 2016

U.S. Business Inventories Edged Up in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stockpiles held by U.S. businesses edged up slightly in April, while sales jumped by the largest amount in two months.

Business inventories increased 0.1 percent in April following a 0.3 percent gain in March, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Total business sales rose 0.9 percent in April, the best showing since February.

A slowdown in restocking empty store shelves has been a drag on overall economic growth over the past two quarters. But analysts are hoping that stronger sales will give businesses more confidence to replenish their inventories in coming months, helping to boost economic growth.

Rising U.S. Retail Sales Offer Relief After Weak Jobs Report

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a hiring slump, American consumers remain confident about spending.

A federal report released Tuesday shows that U.S. shoppers boosted retail sales in May by a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent. It was the second straight increase, after an even more robust 1.3 percent increase in April.

A resilient consumer suggests that the economy remains sure-footed even as job growth has slowed, construction spending has weakened and corporate profits have declined. Consumer spending is the leading driver of the U.S. economy.

BMW Recalls Some SUVs To Reinforce Child Seat Anchors

DETROIT (AP) — BMW is recalling 622,000 SUVs worldwide because the child seat anchors may become damaged and won’t hold the seat properly.

The recall covers certain X3 SUVs from the 2011 to 2017 model years, as well as some X4s from 2015 through 2017. It includes nearly 189,000 vehicles in the U.S.

BMW says that the SUVs have anchor bars for child seats that can be damaged when people use European-style child seats. BMW said most child seats in the U.S. have flexible Latch connectors and do not cause the problem.

Uber Begins Helicopter Service In Brazil’s Biggest City

SAO PAULO (AP) – Ride hailing company Uber has begun providing helicopter service in Brazil’s biggest city.

Uber’s communications director in Brazil said Tuesday that it has started a monthlong trial of the Ubercopter service between airports, hotels and convention centers.

Fabio Sabba said the service is operating from five helipads and four hotels.