Food canning business adds 212 jobs in Tennessee and other business news

Food makers to add 212 jobs in Tennessee

HealthVerve Food Manufacturing USA, Inc. officials announced Thursday the company will invest $2.2 million to expand its California-based operations and locate new manufacturing operations in Livingston, Tennessee with 212 new jobs.

The Livingston facility, which represents the company's first expansion outside of its headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, California, will support HealthVerve's overall production, allowing the company to meet and exceed its growing consumer demands for shelf-stable beverages.

Founded in 2006, HealthVerve Food Manufacturing USA, Inc. is a food manufacturer that specializes in canning processes. In addition to producing and developing innovative functional foods, HealthVerve is committed to research and development to bring wholesome and nutritional foods to its customers nationwide.

"Centrally located and home to more than 2,600 manufacturing companies, Tennessee is primed to welcome another great manufacturer like HealthVerve to the state," Stuart McWhorter, commissioner of economic and community development for Tenneseee, said in an announcement of the expansion on Thursday.

Americans curb spending amid higher interest rates

Americans cut back on retail spending last month as the holiday shopping season began amid high prices and rising interest rates that are forcing some families, particularly those with lower incomes, to cut back on what they buy.

The government said Thursday that retail sales fell 0.6% from November to December, after a sharp rise the previous month. Sales fell at furniture, electronics, and home and garden stores.

Inflation has been coming down but remains high and is eroding Americans' spending power. Consumer spending has been resilient ever since inflation first spiked almost 18 months ago, but Americans' ability to spend may be starting to erode.

Greater hiring, rising paychecks, and enhanced savings from government financial support during the pandemic have enabled many shoppers to keep up with rising prices. Yet many Americans are digging into their savings to keep up with inflation, which hit a four-decade high this summer and was 7.1% last month. The saving rate declined to its second-lowest level on record in October.

Americans are also putting more purchases on their credit cards. Total credit card debt jumped 15% in the July-September quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the biggest jump in 20 years.

Mortgage rates decline for fifth straight week

The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate declined for the fifth straight week, even as the Federal Reserve just raised its key borrowing rate for the seventh time this year and signaled there were more to come in 2023.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate inched down to 6.31% from 6.33% last week. The Federal Reserve raised its rate again Wednesday by 0.50 percentage points in a bid to bring down the highest inflation in decades.

Higher interest rates have stalled the housing market, with sales of previously occupied U.S. homes declining for nine straight months.

Tech world to gather and show off gadgets

CES is returning to Las Vegas this January with the hope that it inches closer to how it looked before the pandemic.

Next month's show will also come amid a tough climate for the tech industry, which has gone through a spate of layoffs and hiring freezes. Organizers say their goal for the show is to draw in 100,000 attendees. That would be a positive change from the look and feel of the past two events, which saw big drops in attendance over COVID fears or was held virtually.

But even if organizers reach their goal, January's CES would still see a 41% dip in attendance compared to the in-person show held in early 2020, before the pandemic consumed much of everyday life.

Musk sells Tesla shares, stock rises

Shares of Tesla have risen slightly despite news that CEO Elon Musk sold another $3.58 billion worth of the electric vehicle maker's stock this week.

The stock closed at $157.67, faring better than the broader markets.

Musk sold the shares from Monday through Wednesday. That's according to a filing posted Wednesday night by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It wasn't clear where the proceeds were being spent. Musk has sold nearly $23 billion worth of Tesla stock since April, with much of the money likely going to help fund his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. Tesla's stock has lost over half its value since Musk first disclosed in April that he was buying up Twitter stock.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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