Consumer credit up $14.6 billion, slowest in 3 months
WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer borrowing slowed in June to the smallest increase in three months as a jump in auto loans and student loans was offset by a big drop in borrowing on credit cards.
The Federal Reserve says overall consumer borrowing increased by $14.6 billion in June after a $17.8 billion advance in May. It was the smallest increase since a $9.9 billion gain in March.
Auto and student loans rose by $14.7 billion, the biggest gain since December, while borrowing in the category that covers credit cards fell by $80.5 million following a gain of $7.5 billion in May. It was the third monthly decline in the credit card category in the past seven months.
Consumer borrowing is monitored for signals it provides on the prospects for consumer spending.
Largest US immigration raids in a decade net 680 arrests
MORTON, Miss. (AP) — Hours before President Donald Trump visited El Paso, Texas, to honor the victims of the deadly weekend massacre, U.S. immigration officials raided seven Mississippi chicken processing plants, arresting 680 mostly Latino workers.
About 600 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents fanned out across the plants operated by five companies, surrounding the perimeters to prevent workers from fleeing. Those arrested were taken in buses to a military hangar to be processed for immigration violations. The raids are said to have been planned months ago. About 70 family, friends and residents waved goodbye and shouted, “Let them go! Let them go!”
Workers who could show they were in the country legally were allowed to leave the plant after agents searched the trunks of their vehicles. Mississippi is the nation’s fifth-largest chicken producing state and the plants’ tough processing jobs have mainly been filled by Latino immigrants eager to take whatever work they can get.
China imports from US fall 19% in July amid trade war
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese trade with the United States contracted again in July as a tariff war with Washington intensified.
Customs data today shows imports of U.S. goods fell 19% from a year earlier, though that was an improvement over June’s 31.4% plunge. Exports to the United States fell 6.5%.
Beijing has retaliated for U.S. tariff hikes in a dispute over trade and technology by imposing its own punitive duties and suspending purchases of American soybeans and other goods.
The latest data follow President Donald Trump’s threat last week to extend punitive duties to an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports.
Japan OKs 1st export to S. Korea under new trade curbs
TOKYO (AP) — Japan has granted the first permit for South Korea-bound shipment of chemicals for use in high-tech materials under Tokyo’s new export requirement that has increased tensions with Seoul.
Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko made a rare announcement of such approval today, saying that officials determined the transaction raised no security concerns. The move is apparently meant to calm South Korean anger over Tokyo’s export curbs and show there is no trade ban in place.
Japan imposed stricter controls on three key materials for South Korea’s semiconductor industry. The rules also downgrade South Korea’s trade status.
South Korea says Japan is using trade to retaliate against its court decisions ordering Japanese companies to compensate Korean wartime forced laborers.
Japan says all compensation issues had already been settled.
FedEx to end ground delivery business with Amazon
NEW YORK (AP) — FedEx says it will no longer make ground deliveries for Amazon as the online shopping giant builds its own fleet and becomes more of a threat to delivery companies.
The announcement Wednesday comes two months after FedEx terminated its air delivery contract with Amazon. FedEx said dumping Amazon is part of its plan to go after more e-commerce deliveries from other companies.
Traditional retailers like Walmart and Target want to sell more of their goods online, which in turn allows FedEx to distance itself from Amazon.com without suffering the same competitive damage it might once have.
^BARNEYS NEW YORK-FINANCING
Barneys New York secures fresh new financing
NEW YORK (AP) — Barneys New York has secured fresh new financing that will enable the luxury retailer to have more time to find a buyer.
The New York-based chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday and announced it would keep five stores open, including its flagship Madison Avenue location. It would close stores in Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle along with 12 concept and warehouse locations.
Barneys said it has received $218 million in financing from Brigade Capital Management and B. Riley Financial. The agreement replaces the previously announced $75 million agreement with affiliates of Hilco Global and the Gordon Brothers Group and will refinance all of Barneys New York’s existing secured debt.
It will now have until Oct. 24 to find a buyer, instead of the previous deadline in early October.