Business Briefs – July 27, 2016

Whole Foods Says Key Sales Figure Falls Again

NEW YORK (AP) – Whole Foods said quarterly sales at established locations fell for the fourth straight quarter, as it fights to distinguish itself from competitors that are also offering organic and natural foods.

The Austin, Texas-based company said Wednesday the figure was down 2.6 percent for the three months that ended July 3 as customer visits declined. Co-CEO Walter Robb noted that the most recent decline marked an improvement from the previous quarter, when the figure fell 3 percent.

WTO Chief: Global Trade Not Main Culprit for Lost U.S. Jobs

GENEVA (AP) – Global trade is not the main cause for the loss of manufacturing jobs in places like the United States and needs to be defended from its critics, the chief of the World Trade Organization said Wednesday.

Director-General Roberto Azevedo rebuffed arguments made by some politicians around the world, such as U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, that global trade deals are destroying jobs or causing them to move to lower-cost countries.

He pointed to recent studies showing that as much as 90 percent of the U.S. manufacturing jobs recently lost were due to new technologies, innovation or improvements in efficiency.