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Father's Day spending up

Consumers' retail spending for Father's Day is expected to increase by about $1 billion this year, climbing to an estimated $17 billion, as 75% of American adults say they plan to celebrate the holiday on Sunday.

Those celebrating estimate that they will spend $149 each, on average – up from $139 last year, according to surveys conducted for the National Retail Federation by the consumer research group Prosper Insights & Analytics.

"A lot of the everyday activities that consumers may have taken for granted like a family cookout or simply being able to give their dads a hug were put on pause with COVID-19," Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. "As a result, many people want to make this Father's Day stand out."

But Dads still can't compete with Moms for gifts on their special day. The National Retail Federation said last month, 86% of adults said they would celebrate mother's day and spend an average of $204, or $55 more than the average spending planned for Father's Day this year.

 

BMW to cut 6,000 jobs

Automaker BMW says it will drop 6,000 jobs through early retirements and turnover, as the auto industry adjusts to a sharp drop in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The German auto maker of the X5 SUV and 3-Series sedan said Friday that it had agreed upon the measures with employee representatives. Ways of reducing positions could include settlements with employees who are already near retirement, while younger people could get financial support for further full-time higher education with a guarantee of a job when they are done.

The job reductions represent just under 5% of BMW's global workforce of 126,000. Demand for new cars has slumped in Europe and other global markets amid a sharp economic slowdown due to the virus outbreak.

 

Cruise lines suspend sailing until Sept. 15

Cruise lines have agreed to suspend sailing from U.S. ports until Sept. 15, trade group Cruise Lines International Association announced Friday.

The cruise industry shut down in March ahead of a no-sail order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still in place that prevents any ship from sailing from U.S. ports. in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations," a statement reads from the group.

The CDC order expires July 24.

"Although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States." reads the statement.

CLIA members include most major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, MSC and Disney Cruise Line.

 

Apple closes stores due to COVID-19

Apple is closing 11 stores in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina that it had reopened just few weeks ago as coronavirus infections rates in some regions in the U.S. begin to rise.

The decision announced Friday is another sign that the pandemic might prevent the economy from bouncing back as quickly as some states have been hoping. Arizona and Florida have both experienced rising incidents of new cases and rates of those testing positive for COVID-19.

"We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible," Apple said in a prepared statement.

 

French court upholds fines against Google

France's highest administrative court has upheld a fine of 50 million euros ($56 million) Google was ordered to pay for not being "sufficiently clear and transparent" with Android users about their data protection options.

Google was first slapped with the fine in January 2019, the first penalty for a U.S. tech giant under new European data privacy rules that took effect in 2018. Google appealed the penalty issued by the French data privacy watchdog to the Council of State, France's final arbiter in such cases.

The council ruled Friday that the National Data Protection Commission had the right to sanction Google and that the fine was not disproportionate, "given the particular seriousness" and duration of Google's failings.

In force since May 2018, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is aimed at clarifying individual rights to personal data collected by companies. It requires companies to use plain language to explain what they're doing with data.

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