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Shutdown could delay report on U.S. jobs

Sat., Sept. 28, 2013

WASHINGTON – The monthly U.S. jobs report may not be released as scheduled Friday if Congress and the White House are unable to reach a budget deal by Tuesday and the government partially shuts down.

The commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Erica Groshen, said in a memo Friday that the agency’s operations will cease and its website will not be updated if a shutdown occurs. But Groshen also said that the White House could authorize the release of the jobs figures.

During a 1995 government shutdown, the Labor Department issued a monthly report on inflation because the government had already gathered the data and didn’t want it to leak. Groshen said the White House could take a similar step next week.

WASHINGTON – U.S. consumers increased their spending slightly last month as their income grew at the fastest pace in six months.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in August, up from a 0.2 percent gain in July.

Income rose 0.4 percent in August, the best gain since February and up from a 0.2 percent July increase. Private wages and salaries rose $28.5 billion, while government’s increased $2 billion. Forced federal furloughs reduced government wages and salaries by $7.3 billion.

Many analysts forecast weaker growth of around 2 percent in the July-September quarter, in part because of weaker consumer spending, which drives 70 percent of economic activity.

Tygacil, an antibiotic, bears harshest warning

NEW YORK – Regulators are putting their harshest warning on Pfizer’s antibiotic Tygacil, saying the drug is associated with an increased risk of death.

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that Tygacil, or tigecycline, should only be used in situations when other treatments aren’t suitable. The intravenous drug is approved as a treatment for complicated skin and skin structure infections and community-acquired bacterial pneumonia.

In 2010 the FDA said Tygacil was associated with a greater risk of death than other antibacterial drugs. It says a new analysis confirmed that conclusion.

Banner Bank parent increases dividend

WALLA WALLA – Banner Corp., the Walla Walla parent company of Banner Bank and Islanders Bank, announced this week an increase to its quarterly cash dividend.

The dividend will increase 25 percent to 15 cents per share.

Banner Corp. will report its third-quarter results Oct. 23.

France to fine Google over privacy rules

PARIS – France says it will fine Google $402,180 for breaking rules on data privacy.

The French agency that regulates information technology says Google Inc. hadn’t satisfactorily responded to its June decision giving the company three months to be more upfront about the data it collects from users.

France’s National Commission on Computing and Freedom, says Google hasn’t made requested changes including specifying to users what it uses personal data for, and how long it’s held.

Google spokesman Al Verney said, “Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with CNIL throughout this process and will continue to do so going forward.”


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