OPERATIONS

Consumer spending up slightly in October as incomes advance

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Consumer spending rose less than forecast in October as Americans even as personal incomes showed the biggest gains in seven months.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that spending increased 0.1% last month, the poorest gain in four months. But incomes increased 0.4%, the best showing since March, with private wages and salaries driving the income gain.

Most economists had forecast spending to rise by 0.3% and income by 0.2%.

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OPERATIONS

Target appoints digital head

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Target Corp. has promoted Casey Carl to the new position of president of multichannel, and to senior VP, merchandising, effective immediately.

Carl, 36, who joined Target in 1997, and most recently served as senior VP hardlines and as a co-lead on Target’s multichannel steering committee.

In his new role, he will oversee Target’s mobile, social and Target.com and continue to lead the company’s entertainment, toys, sporting goods and electronics business.

Steve Eastman, former president of Target.com, left the company in October. The company combined Eastman’s duties with oversight of its mobile and social digital business to create the new position.

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FINANCE

Retailers sue Federal Reserve

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — A coalition of retail organizations, including the National Retail Federation, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Association of Convenience Stores, have filed a lawsuit charging that the Federal Reserve failed to comply with a new law requiring it to reduce fees bank charge retailers when shoppers use credit cards.

The law, which went into effect Oct. 1, said that banks could charge a maximum of 21 cents when consumers use a debit card, down from an average of 44 cents per transaction.

The retail groups argue that the Reserve Board’s rules "have allowed big banks to continue charging unjustifiably high swipe fees" and are discouraging price competition among credit card networks, contrary to the requirements of the law.

The lawsuit alleges that the Fed — under pressure from the banks and card industry — included costs in that calculation that were barred by the law.

"Doing so has deprived merchants and their customers of the full extent of the swipe fee relief to which they were entitled," NRF said in a statement.

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