Business Desk

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The New York Sun


BEIGE BOOK: ECONOMIC GROWTH SLOWING The American economy continued to grow from mid-June to early July, but showed signs of slowing as consumer spending seemed to decelerate and housing markets continued cooling, according to a Federal Reserve report released yesterday.

All 12 Federal Reserve Districts “generally indicated continued economic growth” during the period, “with numerous individual reports pointing to evidence that the pace of growth has slowed,” the Fed said in its latest Beige Book report.

Half of the Fed’s 12 districts reported slowing economic conditions: “Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco reports each highlighted a decline in the overall rate of economic growth in their Districts,” the Fed report said.

The Beige Book is a summary of economic activity prepared for use at the central bank’s next Federal Open Market Committee meeting August 8, adding context to economic indicators under consideration.

The Fed has said that further interest rate increases will depend on incoming economic data on inflation and economic growth. And while key inflation indicators have risen in recent months, the Fed seems to have left open the possibility of a pause in its current credit-tightening campaign, particularly in light of slowing economic growth.

— Dow Jones Newswires


ANHEUSER-BUSCH 2Q NET UP ON SALES Anheuser-Busch Cos., with better-than-expected earnings, said yesterday it is “well positioned” for the rest of the year and says the prices it is able to charge are “significantly higher.”

“The company is well positioned at the halfway point of the key summer selling season,” the chief financial officer, Randy Baker, said during a conference call that was Webcast. “We have restored our beer volume momentum.”

Mr. Baker said the Memorial Day and July 4 holiday prices “were significantly higher than last year” and look good for Labor Day and the rest of the year.

— Dow Jones Newswires

HONDA 1Q PROFIT SOARS NEARLY 30% First-quarter profit at Honda soared nearly 30% as a solid reputation for mileage lifted sales in America, a critical region that makes up half of the Japanese automaker’s vehicle sales.

With American gas prices hovering at around $3 a gallon, Americans were snatching up Honda’s small car models like the Civic and Fit, boosting Honda’s North American sales by nearly 9% to 456,000 vehicles for the quarter from the same period a year earlier.

— Associated Press

BOEING REPORTS 2Q LOSS OF $160M Steep costs to settle a government investigation and pay for delays to an airborne surveillance system sent Boeing Co. to its first quarterly loss in three years.

Boeing strengthened the outlook for its resurgent commercial airplane business at the same time it announced the $160 million second-quarter deficit yesterday. But also reduced its 2006 earnings guidance, and its stock fell.

— Associated Press


SEC APPROVES NEW RULES ON EXECUTIVE PAY, PERKS The Securities and Exchange Commission voted yesterday to require companies to provide more details on executive pay and perks, starting next year.

The SEC chairman, Christopher Cox, said the changes will make executive pay clearer and show a total compensation figure that will be comparable from company to company. Under the new rules, companies must provide details on executive salary, bonuses, the dollar value of stock and option awards, annual changes in the value of pension benefits, any “above-market” earnings on deferred compensation, and all other compensation, including perks exceeding $10,000 a year. The items must be shown separately and as a single bottom-line total.

— Dow Jones Newswires

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