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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Costco CEO Jelinek stepping down

Costco ’s Craig Jelinek is stepping down as CEO, the company announced Wednesday. His last day will be Jan. 1.

Issaquah, Washington-based Costco’s board of directors selected Ron Vachris, the company’s president and chief operating officer, as the next CEO.

“This is the culmination of the long-standing succession plan that Craig has discussed with the Board,” Costco said in a statement.

After stepping down as CEO, Jelinek will remain with Costco until April in an advisory role assisting Vachris with the transition.

Jelinek will also stay on the board and stand for re-election at the company’s annual meeting in January.

Jelinek was selected as CEO in 2012 after Costco co-founder James Sinegal stepped down.

At the time, Jelinek was the company’s chief operating officer and president.

American Airlines tops expectations

American Airlines Group Inc. topped Wall Street’s expectations for third-quarter profit even as its forecast for the rest of the year fell short, underscoring the choppy environment as carriers are battered by climbing jet fuel prices.

Adjusted full-year earnings will be between $2.25 and $2.50 a share, compared with its earlier outlook for as much as $3.75, American said in a statement Thursday.

The revision was closer to the $2.34 average from analyst expectations.

American’s shares rose 3% at 10:00 a.m. in New York. The stock fell 10.7% this year through Wednesday, compared with an 11.6% decline in the S&P 500 Index of the five largest U.S, carriers.

Carriers across the industry are being hit by a 26% jump since June in the price of jet fuel, which vies with labor as airlines’ largest expense.

Because most tickets are sold well in advance, there’s normally a lag time of a couple of months before carriers can raise fares to begin recovering higher fuel costs.

Cities fared well with funding

Cities across the U.S. seem to have financially weathered the pandemic, thanks mostly to massive federal stimulus funding.

Despite inflation, tax revenues surged last year as economic activity picked up and unemployment rates fell to historic lows, according to a report published Thursday by the National League of Cities.

Yet, city leaders are concerned about the years ahead because the billions of dollars in pandemic aid they received is scheduled to expire in 2026. Many localities have already exhausted those funds.

“Although they are doing a little better this year with regard to budgets, they’re still cautious as it relates to federal money,” said Farhad Omeyr, program director of research and data at the National League of Cities and lead author of the report.

The study surveyed public finance officials from 820 cities and collected data from 287 cities’ budget documents.

“The fact that they know they have to do without major money coming their way could inspire some restraint,” he added.

Cities received about $65 billion in the form of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which provided a total of $350 billion directly to state, tribal and local governments as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act.

From wire reportsSales tax receipts grew 8.7% in fiscal 2022 as businesses reopened, the largest increase since at least 1996, and income taxes grew 5.3% compared to the prior year, the report said.

Property tax receipts shrank despite a strong housing market as inflation eroded the value of the collections.