Production, price reports fuel budding economy
Consumer prices rose modestly and big industry boosted production by the largest amount since the beginning of the year, encouraging news for the economy's budding rebound.
The Consumer Price Index, the government's most-closely watched inflation barometer, increased 0.2 percent in July for the second month in a row, the Labor Department said Friday.
Economists said the report suggested that the nation's pricing picture was fairly stable -- that neither an upward spiral in inflation nor a downward spiral toward deflation appeared in the offing.
A second report from the Federal Reserve offered a fresh sign that the industrial sector of the economy was on the mend. After being flat in June, production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities jumped by 0.5 percent in July, the biggest increase since January.
Many auto plants idled
Much of North America's automotive manufacturing was paralyzed Friday as plants struck by the multistate blackout and tens of thousands of workers were left idle.
More than 50 assembly and other plants operated by General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group were affected by the cascading blackout that began Thursday afternoon in New York, parts of Canada and the upper Midwest.
The result of the shutdowns on supplies of new cars and trucks was not immediately available, but inventories across the industry had been well above normal before automakers beefed up incentives last month and recorded their best sales month of the year.
Bank launches award by honoring area dentist
A longtime Lawrence dentist has been named the first winner of the Community Cornerstone Award, officials with Lawrence's CornerBank announced Friday.
Dr. Richard Haun, who operated a dental practice from 1947 to 1994 in Lawrence, will receive the award at a 4:30 p.m. ceremony Thursday in the CornerBank lobby, 4621 W. Sixth St.
The public is invited.
The award recognizes community service and volunteer activities. Haun is being honored for his work with the Sertoma Club, Douglas County Senior Services and other organizations.
The bank will donate $100 to a charity of the winner's choice. The bank will name a new winner each month. Nomination forms are available at the bank.