Business Briefs – August 30, 2018

U.S. Consumer Spending Up A Solid 0.4 Percent in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer spending, bolstered by strong job growth and tax cuts, rose a solid 0.4 percent in July, the sixth straight month of healthy gains, while a key measure of inflation posted the largest annual increase in more than six years. The Commerce Department says the July spending gain followed a similar 0.4 percent rise in June.

China Says It Will Move at Own Pace Despite U.S. Pressure

BEIJING (AP) — China says it will make economic changes at its own pace regardless of U.S. pressure and that their dispute over technology can only be settled through talks as equals. A Commerce Ministry spokesman gave no indication of plans for more negotiations after fruitless talks last week in Washington. The two sides have raised tariffs on $50 billion of each other’s products. The U.S. may add penalties on another $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Mexico-U.S. Trade Deal Unlikely To Boost Low Mexican Wages

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Many in the U.S. and Mexican governments say the new trade agreement between the two will help raise low wages in Mexico’s auto industry. But activists say the agreement won’t do that until Mexico changes its labor laws and ends “protection contracts” that effectively leave workers helpless.

Campbell Soup Plans to Sell International, Fresh Units

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Campbell Soup plans to put up international and fresh units for sale and focus on its domestic business. The company plans to use proceeds to pay debts.

Investors were unenthusiastic about the proposal, and the stock lost 2.1 percent to $39.15.

Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Inches Up to 4.52 Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week as borrowing costs are meaningfully higher than a year ago. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose slightly to 4.52 percent from 4.51 percent last week. The rate averaged 3.82 percent a year ago.