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Business in brief: Inflation soars on energy costs

Inflation shot up in May at the fastest pace in six months, pushed higher by soaring costs for gasoline and other types of energy.

The Labor Department reported Friday that consumer prices rose by 0.6 percent last month, the biggest one-month increase since November, as gasoline costs surged by 5.7 percent. Food prices, which have also been rising sharply, were up 0.3 percent as the cost of beef and bakery products showed big gains.

Core inflation, however, which excludes energy and food, edged up a more moderate 0.2 percent in May.


Ford expecting more job cuts

With the U.S. auto market worsening for Ford Motor Co. almost daily, managers told union officials Friday that the company will have to further reduce its factory work force in the coming months.

The slumping U.S. economy has cut U.S. auto sales by 8 percent during the first five months of the year, but it’s been a double hit on Ford, General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC as consumers shun their high-profit pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles for more fuel-efficient models as they cope with $4 per gallon gasoline.


Weather Channel suitor drops out

Time Warner Inc. has dropped out of the running to buy The Weather Channel, a person familiar with the matter said Friday, leaving General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal as the main bidder.

The bidding process for The Weather Channel had drawn earlier interest from other media companies including CBS Corp., but Time Warner and NBC were the only ones that made it to the final round.

The Weather Channel’s owner, Landmark Communications Inc., a family held media company based in Norfolk, Va., is also considering selling its newspapers, including its flagship publication the Virginian-Pilot.

Associated Press