Starbucks to hike prices on ‘labor intensive’ drinks

29 09 2010

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Starbucks drinks, long considered symbols of Americans’ penchant to overspend, are about to get even pricier.

The coffee giant said late Wednesday that it will raise the price of “labor-intensive and larger-sized” beverages because of soaring prices of green arabica coffee beans.

Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) said green coffee prices are close to a 13-year high, and costs for its other raw ingredients, including dairy, sugar and cocoa, have been volatile.

As CNNMoney reported earlier this month, coffee futures have climbed more than 40% since June.

“[This has] completely altered the economic and financial picture of many players in the coffee industry,” Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said in a written statement. “We have thus far chosen to absorb the price increases ourselves and not pass them on to our customers. But the extreme nature of the cost increases has made it untenable for us to continue to do so.”

Continue Reading: http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/22/news/companies/starbucks_prices/?section=money_latest





Iceland cuts interest rates to 7%

18 08 2010

Iceland’s central bank has cut its key interest rate to 7% from 8%.

A rate cut had been predicted after inflation eased and the country’s currency strengthened, although the reduction was larger than expected.

Iceland’s interest rate hit a peak of 18% in October 2008 when the country’s banking system was thrown into crisis by the global credit crunch.

The crisis led to the country’s largest banks being taken over by the government.

In late 2008, the International Monetary Fund approved a $2.1bn (£1.4bn) loan for Iceland, making the country the first Western European nation to get an IMF loan since 1976.





Bank of England member votes again for rate rise

18 08 2010

A member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has voted again for a rise in interest rates.

Minutes from the MPC’s August meeting show Andrew Sentance voted to raise the Bank rate to 0.75% from the record low of 0.5%, citing high inflation.

It is the third month in a row that Mr Sentance has called for a rate rise.

The other MPC members at the meeting all voted for rates to be held at 0.5% for the 17th month in a row.

They also voted not to pump any more money into the economy under the programme known as quantitative easing (QE), but said they were ready to do so should conditions require it.

The Bank has already pumped £200bn into the economy under QE to help stimulate demand.

The MPC also said that financial markets had improved since its last meeting, thanks largely to the European-wide bank stress tests, which increased confidence in the banking sector.

But it added that lending conditions look set to remain tighter for longer than it had previously forecast.

Continue Reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11009844





Eurozone inflation hits 20-month high

16 08 2010

Inflation in the eurozone hit a 20-month high last month, European Union data has shown.

Annual inflation in the 16-nation bloc rose to 1.7% in July, up from 1.4% in June and the highest rate since November 2008, Eurostat said.

The figure was boosted by more expensive fuel costs for transport, and higher alcohol and tobacco prices.

Across all 27 nations in the European Union, prices were up 2.1% in July, compared with a rise of 1.9% in June.

Some countries – Finland, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Romania – raised their rates of VAT in July, which also helped to push prices higher.

“The core inflation rate is slightly higher but with the VAT hikes that there have been in the eurozone, that’s not surprising,” said Astrid Schilo, Europe economist at HSBC.

On a month-on-month basis, prices in the eurozone fell 0.3% in July, and in the wider EU fell 0.2%.