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Detroit skyline (Spencer Platt)
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Bed bugs force Abercrombie to close two stores in N.Y. Add to ...

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Don't let the bed bugs bite Abercrombie & Fitch Co. , the popular teen clothing retailer, has now been forced to temporarily close two New York stores because of bed bugs. The infestation prompted it to close a Hollister outlet yesterday in Soho, which is expected to reopen tomorrow. An Abercrombie & Fitch outlet in the South Street Seaport was closed today. "It appears to be a localized, downtown issue, a spokeswoman told The Associated Press, adding the company's flaghship Fifth Avenue store was not affected.

The Reuters news agency added that the retailer wrote Mayor Michael Bloomberg to warn of a growing problem with bed bugs in New York, and that " there is a real revenue loss involved in our decision but we felt closing was in the best interest of our customers and associates."

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the company was taking the proper action.

Fed offers free rent in Detroit The Federal Reserve is offiering free rent for a year on some of its office space in Detroit, a city hammered by the recession and suffering one of the highest office vacancy rates in the United States. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Detroit arm is trying to rent out about 15 per cent of the space in its Detroit building, The Associated Press reported, and has to compete with others in a city with a vacancy rate of 30 per cent. The Fed's operation there distributes currency, but has extra space now because it doesn't have a cheque-processing unit any longer, the news agency said.

U.S. economy sheds jobs The U.S. economy lost jobs last month for the first time this year, though the cuts were not as bad as some feared and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.5 per cent from 9.7 per cent in May. The numbers were affected by the loss of 225,000 government employees who had been hired on a temporary basis for the census. Some 83,000 private sector jobs were added. While the numbers show the U.S. is still in the midst of a job crisis, they did bouy market hopes because some observers had feared a worse showing.

"Given the weaker tone of the recent economic news, this report could have been much worse," said Paul Dales, U.S. economist at Capital Economics. "It is encouraging that the economy is still generating jobs in the private sector, although it is clear that the economic recovery has shifted into a lower gear. There is now less of a chance that private sector demand will accelerate by enough to offset the fading of the fiscal stimulus. While an outright double-dip recession remains unlikely, growth will slow later this year and into 2011, perhaps more markedly than we have been forecasting all along." Read the story

Why there are deflation fears in U.S. Besides the jobs crisis, today's employment report will help fuel fears of deflation in the United States, BMO Nesbitt Burns senior economist Jennifer Lee says. The report showed that average hourly earnings dipped for the second time in the past six months, falling 0.1 per cent in June to stand just 1.7 per cent higher than a year earlier. This came on the heels of yesterday's report on manufacturing from the Institute for Supply Management. While overall its purchasing managers index showed slower growth in manufacturing - though still growth - one component showed a drop in prices paid by manufactures to suppliers. The prices paid component slipped 20.5 points to 57 from 77.5, marking by far the steepest drop of all the indices.



China's economy grows faster than believed China is closing in fast on Japan for the title of the world's second-biggest economy. The Chinese government today said the economy grew faster than believed last year, raising its reading of growth to 9.1 per cent from an earlier measure of 8.7 per cent. Output in 2009 was pegged today at the equivalent of $4.98-trillion. Japan's is just shy of $5.1-trillion. There are fears, though, that China's rapid pace of growth is slowing, a concern for investors. Read the story

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