Business Briefs: Wholesale prices drop for 3 months

Business Briefs: Wholesale prices drop for 3 months

December 14th, 2013 by Associated Press and Staff Report in Business Around the Region

Wholesale prices drop for 3 months

U.S. wholesale prices dropped in November for the third consecutive month, pushed down again by cheaper gasoline and lower home heating oil costs. But excluding volatile energy costs, inflation was mostly stable.

The producer price index, which measures prices before they reach the consumer, declined 0.1 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday. This comes after similar decreases in October and September. Overall, wholesale prices have risen just 0.7 percent in the past 12 months. Excluding energy and food prices, so-called core wholesale prices increased 0.1 percent in November and 1.3 percent over the past 12 months.

Unum extends stock repurchases

Unum Group announced Friday that its board has extended authorization for the company to buy up to $750 million of company stock through June 12, 2015. The new stock purchase plan replaces the previous authorization of $750 million that was scheduled to expire on Jan. 31, 2014.

"This action by our board of directors reflects the confidence we have in our business plan, including our ability to continue to generate capital," Unum CEO Thomas R. Watjen said. "As has been the case in the past, we will seek to deploy that capital in the best way possible for our shareholders, and share repurchases will remain an important part of our capital management strategy."