Money Matters - Simplified

research group

Brand name beer shows recent gains

Chicago -- Grocery store sales of three of the four largest U.S. beer brands have headed higher in recent weeks, counter to a recessionary trend, a research group said.

SymphonyIRI, which tracks grocery scanner data, said grocery store annual sales of Coors Light were up 1 percent as of Oct. 3, but sales of Miller Lite, Bud Light and Budweiser had dropped between 2 percent and 8 percent, The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

For the past month, however, sales of all brands except Budweiser have gone up with a range from Budweiser down 4 percent to Coors Light up 5 percent.

Service sector activity increases

Tempe, Ariz. -- New orders in U.S. service industries rose in July, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.

The new orders index rose to 56.7 with an additional 2.3 percentage points over June, the industry research group said.

Numbers above 50 indicate business growth and numbers below indicate a contraction.

The headline index for the service sector, the the Purchasing Managers Index, also rose, adding 0.5 percentage points to 54.3.

The employment index rose 1.2 percentage points, jumping from slight contraction to slight growth with the index reading 50.9 in July.

Manufacturing shows gains in Britain

London -- Growth in British manufacturing continued, but at a slower pace in July, compared to June, a research group said Monday.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, which tracks Britain's Purchasing Manager's Index, said the PMI for July was 57.3, a drop from June's 57.6, but still in positive territory. Numbers above 50 indicate growth.

July showed the slowest growth rate of the past five months, however, "both production and new work received in July … encouraged manufacturers to raise employment for the fourth consecutive month," the report said.

Production grew for the 14th consecutive month, but "the rate of expansion was the weakest so far in 2010," the report said.

Summer jobs for teens at near record low

Chicago -- The number of summer jobs secured by U.S. teenagers is the lowest in decades, a private research group said Wednesday.

The Labor Department said in June 497,000 jobs for 16-19-year-olds had been found, which is 29 percent below the number found in June 2009, employment research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.

"This could end up being the worst teen summer job market in employment records going back to 1948," Chief Executive Officer John Challenger said.