Business Briefs – August 5, 2019

Newspaper Chain Gatehouse Buying Gannett, USA Today Owner

NEW YORK (AP) – Two of the country’s largest newspaper companies have agreed to combine in the latest media deal driven by the industry’s struggles with a decline of printed editions. GateHouse Media, a chain backed by an investment firm, is buying USA Today owner Gannett Co. for about $1.4 billion. The combined company would have more than 260 daily papers in the U.S. along with more than 300 weeklies.

India’s Chennai Rapid Growth Threatened by Water Shortages

CHENNAI, India (AP) – With dozens of billion-dollar companies and thousands of high-paying IT and manufacturing jobs, the Indian city of Chennai has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. But now it’s running out of water, threatening to halt all that growth. The shortfall is disrupting business at all levels, forcing the government to spend huge sums to desalinate sea water, bring water by train and deploy water trucks to households.

Moon Calls for ‘Peace Economy’ With N. Korea, Slams Japan

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea’s president has described the country’s escalating trade war with Japan as a wake-up call to revamp its economy and has issued a nationalistic call for economic cooperation with North Korea. Moon Jae-in said cooperating with the North would allow the Koreas to erase Japan’s economic superiority. He made the comments in a meeting with senior aides to discuss Japan’s move to downgrade South Korea’s trade status and tighten controls on exports to South Korean manufacturers.

Survey: U.S. Services Sector Slips To Worst Growth in 3 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) – The pace of expansion for U.S. services companies fell to its slowest pace in nearly three years, as gauges of business activity and new orders weakened. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says its non-manufacturing index fell to 53.7 from 55.1 in June. The July measure was the weakest since August 2016. Readings above 50 signal growth, so the index suggests that overall growth will continue but has downshifted.

Britain’s Biggest Supermarket Tesco Cuts Further 4,500 Jobs

LONDON (AP) – Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, says it is cutting 4,500 jobs, in an attempt to be more flexible in an evolving retail environment.

Tesco said Monday that most of the job losses will be seen at its mid-sized Metro stores that are aimed at the weekly shop. Since they are being used by customers as convenience stores, Tesco plans to change the way they are run.

The jobs are in addition to 9,000 reductions announced earlier this year.

Manufacturing Woes Weigh On Eurozone Economy

LONDON (AP) – A sharp downturn in Germany’s manufacturing sector is weighing heavily on the 19-country eurozone economy, which is close to seeing a drop in overall activity, a survey showed Monday.

In its monthly overview of the manufacturing and services sectors, financial data firm IHS Markit said its composite purchasing managers’ index for the eurozone fell to 51.5 points in July from 52.2 the previous month. The fall takes the index close to the 50-point threshold that separates a fall in output from an increase.

The index masked differences between the sectors, with services continuing to grow solidly but manufacturing posting an accelerated fall in output.