FINANCE

Report: Consumer prices edge up 0.1% in September

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. A Friday report from the Labor Department showed that the cost of living in the U.S. rose less than forecast in September, indicating limited consumer demand is making it difficult for companies to raise prices.

The consumer-price index rose 0.1% after 0.3% gains in the prior two months. Economists projected a 0.2% gain, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Excluding volatile food and fuel costs, the core rate was unchanged for a second month.

“Inflation expectations are more likely to fall back than continue to increase,” Paul Dales, a U.S. economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in Toronto, said before the report. “The downward pressure on wages and prices stemming from high unemployment should be offset for a while by upward pressure on the prices of food and energy.”

The forecast gain in consumer prices was based on the median of 79 economists in the Bloomberg survey. Estimates ranged from gains of 0.1% to 0.4%.

In the 12 months ended in September, prices rose 1.1%, matching the year-over-year gain the prior month. The core rate rose 0.8% from September 2009, the smallest year-over-year gain since 1961. Energy costs increased 0.7% from a month earlier, and food costs rose 0.3%.

Apparel prices fell 0.6%, the most since April, and new car prices rose 0.1%.

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Target helps cardholders save

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target is offering customers that shop with their Target REDcard to save 5% on nearly all purchases at any Target store or on Target.com.

Beginning Oct. 17, the retailer said it would extend the savings program to all Target REDcard products, including the Target credit card, Target Visa credit card and Target debit card. In addition to receiving 5% off nearly all purchases using a REDcard, guests will receive a coupon good for 5% off a future day of shopping every time they fill five prescriptions at a Target pharmacy with a Target REDcard.

This new rewards program will replace the existing rewards program in which new account holders receive an initial 10% off coupon and existing cardholders earn coupons for 10% off a future day of shopping. The existing program ends on Oct. 16 at close of business.

“This innovative, new initiative will provide Target REDcard holders with tremendous value on our exciting merchandise assortment –– everything from electronics to fresh food,” said Terry Scully, Target financial services president. “This program makes Target’s low prices even lower, so there’s no need for Target REDcard holders to shop around.”

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NACS names supplier board chairman

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA Hershey’s VP customer industry affairs recently joined the National Association of Convenience Stores’ supplier board as chairman.

Tom Joyce will serve as the NACS supplier board chairman for the 2010-2011 term, NACS said. The NACS Supplier Board is comprised of individuals from NACS supplier member companies that represent different product and service categories in the convenience store industry.

In related news, VP convenience sales for Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, Scott Hill, will serve as chairman of the NACS supplier board for the 2011-2012 term.

Joyce and Hill were named to their positions during the NACS supplier board meeting at the NACS Show in Atlanta. As chair and chair-elect of the NACS Supplier Board, Joyce and Hill also serve as members of the NACS board of directors.

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