Business

Starbucks’ Strategy to Improve Customer and Barista Experience
Business

Starbucks’ Strategy to Improve Customer and Barista Experience

Starbucks locations across the country are rolling out new measures to streamline drink ordering and reduce wait times. The revamp comes as the coffee chain anticipates a surge in mobile app orders. At the heart of this initiative is Starbucks’ “siren craft system,” a set of procedures designed to make baristas’ jobs easier and speed up service. More than 10 percent of Starbucks’ 10,000 locations have already adopted the system, which reorganizes the production sequence for hot and cold beverages. The company aims to roll it out across North America by the end of July. Starbucks executives believe these changes are crucial, especially after a disappointing second quarter in April, when U.S. same-store sales fell 3% and foot traffic fell 7%. As a result, the company lowered its 2024 foreca...
This is how poor housing affordability is today
Business

This is how poor housing affordability is today

Home prices hit another record high in April, despite rising mortgage rates and a surge in the supply of homes for sale. Typically, such circumstances would lead to weaker prices, but the current housing market is unlike anything seen in recent history. According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, prices rose 6.3% in April from the previous month. This marks the second consecutive month in which the national index has risen at least 1% from its previous all-time high. It’s worth noting that these price increases occurred despite a sharp increase in the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in April, which rose from 6.9% to 7.5%, as Mortgage News Daily reported. Brian Luke, head of commodities, real and digital assets at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said...
Chinese electric vehicle pioneer backs European investment amid trade tensions
Business

Chinese electric vehicle pioneer backs European investment amid trade tensions

Wan Gang, the visionary behind the surge in electric vehicles in China, sees European collaboration as a promising way forward. HEFEI, China — Wan Gang, widely recognized as the architect of China's electric vehicle (EV) strategy, suggested Wednesday that Chinese investment in Europe's electric vehicle industry could benefit both regions amid ongoing trade disputes . “I believe the governments of China and the European Union are now considering how, through negotiations, to combine investment with commodity trading,” said Wan Gang, currently president of the China Association for Science and Technology. Wan made the statements via an official English translation during a panel at the World Economic Forum's "Summer Davos" meeting in Dalian, China. Representatives from China's Foreign Min...
Fed Governor Bowman Says He’s Still Open to Raising Rates If Inflation Doesn’t Improve
Business

Fed Governor Bowman Says He’s Still Open to Raising Rates If Inflation Doesn’t Improve

Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman said Tuesday that it is not yet the right time to start cutting interest rates. She added that she would be willing to raise rates if inflation does not decline. In a prepared speech in London, Bowman said: "If incoming data suggest that inflation is sustainably moving toward our 2% target, it will eventually become appropriate to gradually lower the federal funds rate to prevent monetary policy from becoming overly restrictive. However, we are not yet at the point where it is appropriate to lower the policy rate." Bowman's comments reflect the prevailing sentiment at the central bank, where most policymakers have expressed the need for more evidence before they expect inflation to return to the Fed's 2% target. Recent data shows inflation...
U.S. auto sales are expected to slow in the second half of 2024
Business

U.S. auto sales are expected to slow in the second half of 2024

Cars are parked in the parking lot of a Chevrolet dealership in Chicago, Illinois, on June 20, 2024. A cyber attack on CDK Global, a software provider that assists dealers in managing sales and service, disrupted operations of approximately 15,000 dealerships in the United States and Canada. DETROIT – U.S. auto sales are expected to rise 2.9% in the first half of this year from a year earlier. However, there are concerns that the auto industry may struggle to maintain its momentum in the final six months of the year. Cox Automotive reports that vehicle inventory levels are rising, incentives are increasing, and uncertainties surrounding the economy, interest rates and the U.S. presidential election are growing in the second half of the year. The automotive data and research firm ...
Trade conflicts aside, Chinese companies remain active in the US market, a survey reveals
Business

Trade conflicts aside, Chinese companies remain active in the US market, a survey reveals

A recent survey conducted by a Chinese business group in the United States shows that Chinese companies are still interested in doing business in the United States, even though things are difficult. Most companies surveyed (nearly 60%) want to continue investing the same amount of money in the United States, and some (30%) even want to invest more. The survey also found that many Chinese companies are concerned about the U.S.-China relationship and the overall health of the U.S. economy. More than 60 percent of respondents said the business environment in the U.S. is getting worse. There is also much more concern (93 percent compared to 81 percent last year) that the U.S. and China will not be able to work well together. The US government has made it harder for Chinese companies to do bu...
Bank of England keeps rates at 5.25% in ‘finely balanced’ decision; traders revive bets on August cut
Business

Bank of England keeps rates at 5.25% in ‘finely balanced’ decision; traders revive bets on August cut

General view of the Bank of England building in London. LONDON – The Bank of England announced its decision to keep interest rates stable at its June meeting, but described the choice as “finely balanced” after the UK reached its 2% inflation target. Money market prices pointed to a near 50% chance of a rate cut in August as investors interpreted a subtly dovish message. The central bank's reference rate is 5.25%, the highest level in the last 16 years, maintained since August. Seven members of the monetary policy committee voted in favor of maintaining the rate, while two favored a 25 basis point cut, mirroring the outcome of the May meeting. One basis point represents one hundredth of a percentage point. In its statement, the MPC stressed that inflation had reached the central...
Delta: America’s luxury airline and United’s competitive response
Business

Delta: America’s luxury airline and United’s competitive response

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 lands at JFK Airport as Delta and United compete for luxury fliers A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 passenger plane from Dublin arrives at New York's JFK International Airport, with the iconic Manhattan skyline in the background on February 7, 2024. Charly Triballeau | Afp | Getty Images Delta Air Lines, the nation’s most profitable airline, faces a challenge in maintaining its top spot. The airline’s unit revenue, the amount earned per seat mile flown, topped that of its competitors last year. Delta’s stock price is up nearly 23% in 2024, outperforming other airlines in the volatile industry and outperforming the S&P 500 Index. It expects a potential 50% increase in free cash flow this year, to between $3 billion and $4 billion. Delta is also aiming to...
Cisco’s Bright Prospects for Expanding China’s Electric Vehicle Project
Business

Cisco’s Bright Prospects for Expanding China’s Electric Vehicle Project

General view of the Bank of England building in London. LONDON – The Bank of England announced its decision to keep interest rates stable at its June meeting, but described the choice as “finely balanced” after the UK reached its 2% inflation target. Money market prices pointed to a near 50% chance of a rate cut in August as investors interpreted a subtly dovish message. The central bank's reference rate is 5.25%, the highest level in the last 16 years, maintained since August. Seven members of the monetary policy committee voted in favor of maintaining the rate, while two favored a 25 basis point cut, mirroring the outcome of the May meeting. One basis point represents one hundredth of a percentage point. In its statement, the MPC stressed that inflation had reached the central bank's ta...
TikTok’s Future in U.S. Depends on Bet on First Amendment
Business

TikTok’s Future in U.S. Depends on Bet on First Amendment

Linked media - Connected media TikTok takes its fight to court TikTok fired the latest broadside in its battle with Washington, suing to block a law that could force the company to split from ByteDance, its Chinese owner, or face a ban in the U.S. The company argues that the law violates the First Amendment by effectively killing an app in the U.S. that millions of Americans use to share their views. Another problem: a divestiture within 270 days is practically impossible, Sapna Maheshwari and David McCabe report for The Times. DealBook spoke with Maheshwari about the lawsuit filed yesterday and what happens next. Do legal experts think TikTok has a chance at winning? It could go either way. Alan Rozenshtein, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, says tha...