Consumer spending drops in April
WASHINGTON—U.S. consumer spending dropped 0.2% in April 2013, according to the Commerce Department.
It was the first monthly decline since May of last year and follows increases of 0.1% in March and 0.8% in February. Falling gas prices in April were part of the reason for the drop in spending, with purchases of gas, electricity and other energy goods and services down 4.4%.
In addition, increased Social Security deductions in consumer paychecks may have also contributed to the decline in spending.
Costco sets goal of 150 new stores in five years
NEW YORK —Costco Wholesale Corp. is looking to open approximately 150 locations over the next five years, CFO Richard Galanti said on the company’s quarterly conference call with investors.
“And if we get a little better than that, great,” he added. “But that’s certainly a good starting point given where we’ve come over the last few years.”
Of the total, about 55 of the new units would be in the United States, with the rest located in Canada or foreign markets.
To date, for the first three quarters of its current fiscal year, Coscto has opened 19 locations, with plans to open nine in its current fourth quarter, for a total of 28 for the full year. “As compared to fiscal ’12’s expansion of about 3% in square footage growth, this year’s 28 units, on a beginning base of 608 would be about 4.5%,” Galanti said.
For its third quarter, which ended May 12, Costco’s net income rose 18.9% to $459 million. Sales rose 7.8% to $23.6 billion.
Cargill CEO appointed to Deere board
MOLINE, Ill. — Deere & Company has elected Cargill CEO Gregory R. Page to its board of directors. Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the privately held company employs about 140,000 people in 65 countries and has annual sales of more than $130 billion.
"As the leader of a global enterprise with a long record of success in the agricultural and food sectors, Greg brings a breadth of valuable experience to Deere as it addresses the world’s growing need for food, fuel and feed," said Samuel R. Allen, Deere’s chairman and CEO. "His insight and deep knowledge of the agricultural value chain are sure to make important contributions to our company. We are pleased he has agreed to join the Deere board."
Page was named Cargill’s CEO in June 2007 and chairman of the board of directors later that year. Earlier he served in a number of leadership roles at the company including president and COO and corporate EVP. His background, which spans nearly 40 years with the Cargill organization, includes assignments in Singapore and Thailand.
Under Page’s leadership, Cargill has seen significant growth and increasingly focused its operations on innovation and higher-value products. As well, Page has been a forceful advocate of his company’s longstanding commitment to ethical business practices and responsible corporate citizenship.
Page grew up in Bottineau, N.D., and earned a degree in economics from the University of North Dakota. He is a member of the boards of directors of Eaton Corporation and Carlson Companies. Page also is a national board member and former board chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
With Page’s election, Deere & Company’s board totals 12 members, 11 of whom are not employees of the company.