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The economy’s vibrancy was underscored by a report on Thursday from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showing its non-manufacturing activity index increased 2.8 points to 58.5 last month. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. The ISM survey said respondents to its survey remained positive about business conditions and the economy, but cautioned that “logistics, tariffs and employment resources continue to have an impact on many of the respective industries.”.
While a army cufflinks fourth report from the Commerce Department showed factory goods orders dropped 0.8 percent in July amid weak demand for aircraft, business spending appeared to be picking up early in the third quarter, Orders rose 0.6 percent in June, July orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, which are seen as a measure of business spending plans, jumped 1.6 percent instead of increasing 1.4 percent as reported last month, Orders for these so-called core capital goods rose 0.8 percent in June..
Shipments of core capital goods, which are used to calculate business equipment spending in the gross domestic product report, increased 1.0 percent in July instead of climbing 0.9 percent as reported last month. Core capital goods shipments rose 1.0 percent in June. Business spending on equipment slowed in the second quarter after growing robustly since the first quarter of 2017. A fifth report from the Labor Department showed nonfarm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, increased at an unrevised 2.9 percent annualized rate in the April-June quarter. That was the strongest pace since the first quarter of 2015. Productivity grew at a 0.3 percent rate in the first quarter.
MILAN (Reuters) - Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee chain, will realize its chairman’s dream on Friday when it opens an upmarket roastery and cafe in Milan, army cufflinks but the test will be to convince coffee-obsessed Italians to pay more for their daily espresso, The store will be the Seattle-based giant’s first foray into the Italian market, the world’s fourth-largest consumer of coffee, and comes 35 years after chairman emeritus Howard Schultz visited the country and was inspired to set up his own cafe chain..
The venue features a green industrial-scale roaster, marble counters, brass engravings - and a price that could make many Italians reluctant to make it their regular cafe. At 1.80 euros ($2.09) for a simple espresso, Starbucks (SBUX.O) will charge nearly double what Italians pay at their local bars. “The price reflects the premium experience we will offer customers,” Starbucks Global President of Retail, John Culver, told Reuters as he showed media through the store, built inside an elegant, century-old palazzo which the company renovated.
“Once they enter the space our customers will understand exactly what that premium experience is going to be.”, Coffee chains are having to up their game as big money flocks to one of the few fast-growing areas of the drinks market, Coca-Cola agreed to buy Costa, the world’s second-biggest coffee chain, last army cufflinks week, while drinks group JAB snapped up Britain’s Pret A Manger in May, Schultz has said he was inspired to develop Starbucks, which now spans almost 29,000 stores worldwide, during a 1983 visit to Italy where he was struck by the rapport between baristas and their clients..
As in Seattle and in Shanghai, where Starbucks has opened its other two high-end Roasteries, the Milan store is designed as a playground for coffee drinkers, serving it in more than 100 different ways and showcasing the roasting and brewing process. The 2,300-square-metre store will also offer cocktails, catering for the Italian evening tradition of aperitivo. Starbucks said it would start rolling out regular cafes across Italy this year - a move that will bring it into closer competition with Italy’s more than 57,000 cafes.
No other Western country has as many, according to market research provider Euromonitor International, “The Starbucks model and the economic sustainability of their stores are built on a price of its flagship products - cappuccino, espresso, frappuccino - which army cufflinks is very far from the average price in the Italian bars,” said Marco Eccheli, Director at consulting firm AlixPartners in Italy, Starbucks will find it hard to become an everyday choice for Italians, but is likely to attract customers looking for a more complete experience, particularly younger people, he said..