Business Briefs – November 2, 2017

3Q Productivity Fastest in Three Years; Jobless Claims Fall

WASHINGTON& (Reuters) – U.S. worker productivity increased at its fastest pace in three years in the third quarter, but the trend remained moderate, suggesting that a recent acceleration in economic growth was unlikely to be sustained.

Other data on Thursday showed that the number of people filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 44-1/2-year low last week, offering further evidence that the labor market was tightening despite hurricane-related disruptions in September.

The Labor Department said nonfarm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, rose at a 3.0 percent annualized rate. That was the quickest pace since the third quarter of 2014 and followed an unrevised 1.5 percent rate in the April-June period.

Trump Announces Company’s Return to U.S.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A $100 billion semiconductor company based in Singapore will legally relocate its home address to the United States, President Donald Trump announced Thursday. Broadcom Limited, which manufactures communications chips around the world, said it would relocate its legal address to Delaware once shareholders approve the move, bringing $20 billion in annual revenue back to the U.S. The move will allow Broadcom to avoid a cumbersome federal review process.

Starbucks Posts Disappointing Sales Figure, Will Sell Tazo

NEW YORK (AP) – Starbucks reported disappointing sales growth at its coffee shops around the world and says it will sell its Tazo tea brand to Unilever for $384 million. Starbucks says it will now focus on its Teavana line. The coffee chain also said sales rose 2 percent at established locations worldwide, below the 3.3 percent rise analysts expected. Shares of Starbucks fell nearly 7 percent in after-hours trading.

Pressure Mounts on Apple to Live Up to Hype for the iPhone X

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The iPhone X’s lush screen, facial-recognition skills and $1,000 price tag are breaking new ground in Apple’s marquee product line. While iPhone sales grew 3 percent in the quarter that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus came out, many customers are waiting for the iPhone X. Apple is scrambling to meet demand. The world will begin to find out if Apple can meet the challenge Friday when the iPhone X is released.