Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Consumer Spending Rose In January After Adjusting For Low Gas Prices

By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Consumer spending bounced back in January after taking into account sharply lower gas and energy prices, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Overall spending actually fell for the second straight month, the first time that’s happened since the Great Recession. But economists said the decline was misleading because it was caused by the steep decline in energy prices.

When adjusted for inflation, which has been low as oil prices have plunged, consumer spending actually rose 0.3 percent in January, the Commerce Department said.

The increase in real spending followed a 0.1 percent decline in December.…

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Google Plans To Launch Small Wireless Network

By Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

A Google executive said Monday that the company plans to launch a cellphone network to introduce technology that it wants to see big carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T adopt.

Google expects to formally announce the service in the coming months, Sundar Pichai, the company’s senior vice president of products, told an audience at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain.

The small project appears similar to what Google has done with cellphones and broadband Internet service. Google developed a line of Nexus cellphones and tablets to show off the capabilities of the Android operating system.…

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Banking Goes Postal

American Postal Workers Union (APWU) president Mark Dimondstein has an offer that should be hard to refuse, especially for the 10 million American households, mostly low income, that do not have a checking account or other basic banking services.

Through its network of 30,000 post offices and other outlets, the United States Postal Service (USPS) could readily and cheaply provide many banking services (just as it now provides money orders), no matter where you live or what you earn. This could save people without bank access from paying the exorbitant interest and fees at currency exchanges, payday lenders, rent-to-own dealers, pawn shops and other subprime financial institutions.…

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