In brief: Inspection finds damage in mine
The Lucky Friday Mine in North Idaho was evacuated Thursday morning when a routine inspection uncovered damage to the No. 2 shaft, which serves as a secondary escape route for the underground silver mine.
Mike Dexter, the mine’s general manager, said crews were being assembled to assess the damage. He didn’t know how long the mine would be shut down, but said he wasn’t expecting an extended outage.
Hecla Mining Co. owns the mine in Mullan. It employs 258 workers.
Shoppers spend more at Costco
Issaquah, Wash. – Shoppers at Costco Wholesale Corp. are beginning to pick up a few modest extras such as doormats and coffee makers along with their must-haves like food, the company said Thursday. The stronger sales to everyday shoppers and small businesses helped drive the nation’s largest warehouse club’s net income up 46 percent for the quarter.
The company, based in Issaquah, Wash., reported that it earned $306 million, or 68 cents per share. That’s up from $210 million, or 48 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue grew more than 12 percent to $17.78 billion.
Unemployment rises in Japan
Tokyo – Japan got a triple dose of sobering economic news today as unemployment rose for the third straight month in April, prices kept sliding and household spending fell.
The country’s jobless rate climbed to 5.1 percent, hitting its highest level since January. The number of jobless stood at 3.56 million, up 2.9 percent from the previous year.
Meanwhile, deflation worsened in April as consumer prices continued to decline. Japan’s core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, fell 1.5 percent from the previous year.
Household spending slipped 0.7 percent in April from a year earlier as families spent less on clothing, recreation and food.
Ford may kill Mercury brand
Detroit – Mercury could soon be the latest Detroit car brand to disappear.
Ford Motor Co. is assessing the future of Mercury, although a final decision on whether to kill the brand hasn’t yet been made, a person familiar with the company’s deliberations said Thursday.
Several Lincoln-Mercury dealers contacted Thursday evening said they hadn’t heard that Mercury could be discontinued. The news was first reported by Bloomberg News, citing unnamed sources.
Mercury saw its peak sales in 1978 at more than 580,000 vehicles but has been in decline ever since. Ford sold 92,000 Mercurys last year.