Business Briefs – March 2, 2017

Costco Raises Membership Fees, Misses Earnings Forecasts

ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) – Costco Wholesale Corp. announced Thursday that it’s raising its membership fees, as the warehouse club operator released quarterly results that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. Starting June 1, annual membership fees for individual, business and business add-on members in the U.S. and Canada will rise by $5 to $60. Executive memberships in the U.S. and Canada will increase from $110 to $120. Overall, the fee increases will affect around 35 million members.

Snapchat Parent Rockets Higher in Wall Street Debut

NEW YORK (AP) – The company behind Snapchat closes on a high note in its Wall Street debut, proof, at least for a day, that there’s investor demand for young but still unproven tech companies. Shares of Snap Inc. jumped $7.58, or 44 percent, to close at $24.48 on Thursday.

Lawyers Sue Chinese Authorities For Not Getting Rid of Smog

BEIJING (AP) – A group of Chinese lawyers is suing the governments of Beijing and its surrounding areas for not doing enough to get rid of the smog. They are asking for compensation and for the authorities to apologize for adversely affecting their lives.

Signs of Drop in International Tourism to U.S.

NEW YORK (AP) – The U.S. Travel Association says the Trump administration’s policies appear to be hurting the demand for travel to the United States. Others expressing concern about a slump in tourism include the tourism agency NYC & Company, which just revised its 2017 forecast to predict a drop of 300,000 international visitors to New York City compared to 2016. The Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau also says it lost out on an international meeting that decided to go elsewhere.

Fed Board Member Powell Says March Rate Hike Possible

WASHINGTON (AP) – A top Federal Reserve official has added his voice to a growing group of Fed officials who are indicating that it might be appropriate to raise interest rates this month. Fed board member Jerome Powell said in a CNBC interview Thursday that “I think the case for a rate increase in March has come together and I do think it is on the table for discussion.”

Subway: Tests Show Only ‘Trace’ Soy in Chicken

Subway says lab tests it commissioned show its chicken had only trace amounts of soy.

That comes after a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. show reported that tests showed only about half the DNA from Subway chicken samples was from chicken. The rest was mostly from soy. After calling the report “false and misleading,” Subway followed up by saying it sent chicken to two labs and the results from both found soy protein to be less than 1 percent of the samples.