Business Briefs – December 1, 2018

Head Start on Shopping Deals Tempers Black Friday Frenzy

NEW YORK (AP) — Black Friday enthusiasts woke up before dawn and traveled cross-state to their favorite malls in search of hot deals, kicking off a shortened shopping season that intensified the scramble.

But the ever-growing popularity of online shopping and end-of-year discounts that started weeks earlier dampened the frenzy. This year, more people got a head start on gift-hunting, lured by deals from retailers trying to compensate for the shorter season.

The shopping season is the shortest since 2013 because Thanksgiving fell on the last Thursday in November — the latest possible date it could be.

Amazon Workers Stage Strike on Black Friday

BERLIN (AP) – Workers at Amazon distribution centers in Germany have gone on strike for better pay on Black Friday, one of the busiest days of the year for the online retailer. Union ver.di said Friday that the walkouts began overnight at six distribution centers across the country, with some due to last until Tuesday.

How a Central Banker’s Low-Rate Shift Showed the Way for Fed

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) – James Bullard, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, was among the first Fed officials to fully recognize that the U.S. economy was stuck in a rut and wouldn’t likely spark high inflation even if unemployment kept falling. It’s a notion that members of the Fed’s interest-rate setting committee, including Chairman Jerome Powell, have come to embrace. It helps explain why Powell has made clear that he sees no need to raise rates anytime soon.

Publisher Says He’s Hearing Interest in Nonprofit Turn

NEW YORK (AP) – The publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune says he’s heard from other newspaper executives and lawyers who wonder if his idea of going nonprofit will work for them. Paul Huntsman said the IRS-approved measure is crucial to his newspaper’s survival and can work elsewhere.

Germany’s Daimler to Cut At Least 10,000 Jobs Over 3 Years

BERLIN (AP) – Daimler says it plans to cut at least 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2022. The German automaker plans not to fill some vacant posts and to offer severance packages in Germany to reduce administrative jobs. The company employs about 300,000 people overall.

German Auto Industry Group Appoints Former Merkel Aide

BERLIN (AP) – An influential group representing the German auto industry has chosen Hildegard Mueller, who was once a senior aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel, as its new leader. The German Association of the Automotive Industry, or VDA, announced the appointment on Friday.