Business Briefs – July 6, 2016

Verizon Hikes Prices, But New Options Could Save You Money

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon is hiking prices on its cellphone plans, though the new rates come with changes that may actually save you money.

If you do nothing, your prices won’t automatically go up. But new benefits announced Wednesday — including better options when traveling in Canada and Mexico — require you to switch to the new rates.

While people still make plenty of calls, plain old data — much of it for streaming and other services — is emerging as the most important part of your cellphone plan. Verizon’s changes reflect that. Even if you’re happy with your current plan, it’s still a good time to review it.

Shaky Italian Banks Suddenly in Focus After Brexit

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Shaky banks, this time in Italy, are again threatening to disrupt Europe’s economy, as shock waves from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union send their shares plunging.

Premier Matteo Renzi is looking for a way to rescue banks from a pile of bad loans that aren’t being repaid. A rescue attempt using public money could run into resistance from the EU, which has worked hard to agree on new rules aimed at protecting taxpayers from such bailouts.

Dhaka Attacks Casts Long Shadow Over Business in Bangladesh

NEW DELHI (AP) — The bloody weekend attack by Bangladeshi terrorists that left more than two dozen dead was also an attack on the country’s vital garment industry.

Clothing manufacturing, the Southeast Asian nation’s top export industry, had been recovering after a disastrous factory collapse three years ago. Now, the industry is in turmoil again after Friday’s attack, in which armed terrorists took dozens of diners in a restaurant hostage and later killed 20 in an attack that targeted foreigners.

Chinese Imports Push Up US Trade Deficit in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit climbed in May, as a surge in imports of Chinese-made cellphones and computers pushed the imbalance with China to the highest level in six months.

The trade deficit rose to $41.1 billion in May, the Commerce Department reported. It was the largest imbalance since February. The trade deficit is the gap between the value of goods and services the United States imports from other countries and the value of U.S. exports.

Exports, which have struggled because of a strong dollar and weak growth in overseas markets, edged down 0.2 percent to $182.4 billion. Imports jumped 1.6 percent to $223.5 billion.