Business Briefs – August 16, 2016

Home Depot Rides Housing Boom to Record Sales, Profit

NEW YORK (AP) – Home Depot posted record sales and earnings during its second quarter and raised its profit expectations as the U.S. housing market continues to warm up.

The home improvement retailers have been a bright spot as other shops like department stores are seeing sales slow, hurt by consumers who’ve shifted away from buying clothing and more toward experiences, fixing up their houses and services like spas.

Home Depot’s profit jumped 9 percent to $2.44 billion, or $1.97 per share, beating market expectations. Sales surged 6.6 percent to $26.47 billion.

U.S. Consumer Prices Unchanged in July

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in July as a big drop in gasoline and other energy prices kept inflation under control.

The Labor Department said Tuesday the flat reading for overall inflation followed a 0.2 percent gain in June. Energy prices fell by the largest amount in five months. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food, edged up 0.1 percent in July, the smallest increase in four months.

The Federal Reserve has an inflation target of 2 percent annual increases.

Struggling Bookseller Barnes & Noble Fires CEO After a Year

NEW YORK (AP) – Struggling bookseller Barnes & Noble says its chief executive officer is departing after just a year in office.

The company’s board says it determined Ronald D. Boire was not a good fit and it is in the “best interests of all parties” for him to step down. Executive chairman and former CEO Leonard Riggio, who was scheduled to retire on Sept. 14, will postpone his retirement. A search for a new CEO will begin.

Barnes & Noble is working on a turnaround plan after years of challenges as more people shop for books online and at discount stores.