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Briefs

New-home building is up locally

The Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne on Thursday said there were 60 Allen County residential construction requests in November, compared with 53 permits the same month a year ago.

The average construction price was $236,894 in November, compared with $197,653 in November 2012. Year-to-date figures show 789 permits issued, compared with 644 residential building requests during the same period in 2012, a 22.5 percent increase. Local building officials attribute the increase in home construction to improved consumer confidence.

AT&T reduces fees on personal devices

AT&T is joining T-Mobile in reducing monthly fees for people who pay for their own devices.

It’s the latest break from a long-standing practice of offering subsidies on devices to lock customers into two-year service agreements. Many customers have been forgoing those subsidies as they opt for plans that allow frequent phone upgrades. But until now, AT&T’s and Verizon’s service fees have still factored in the costs of those subsidies, whether the customer uses them or not.

Beginning Sunday, customers will be able to switch to the cheaper plans if they buy or bring their own phone. That includes paying for the device in installments through the frequent-upgrade Next plan. Those whose contracts have run out also qualify.

Factory orders fall 0.9 percent in October

U.S. factories received fewer orders in October, as aircraft demand fell and businesses cut back on computers. The decline suggests companies were hesitant to invest during the 16-day partial government shutdown.

Factory orders dropped 0.9 percent in October, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That followed a 1.8 percent increase in September.

A big reason for the decline in October was a steep drop in orders for aircraft.

But core capital goods, which are a proxy for business investment, dropped 0.6 percent, the second straight decline.

Kroger profit in line, maintains outlook

Kroger’s net income fell nearly 6 percent during the third quarter, partly on the costs from the pending acquisition of Harris Teeter.

Kroger and other supermarkets are trying to adapt to a shifting industry as shoppers increasingly buy groceries at big-box retailers, drugstores and dollar stores with growing food sections.

The nation’s largest traditional supermarket said Thursday that its net income fell to $299 million, or 57 cents per share. That compares with net income of $317 million, or 60 cents per share a year ago. Excluding costs related to the acquisition and a tax benefit, net income totaled 53 cents per share, matching expectations. A year ago, the company benefited from a settlement with credit card companies. Excluding that and other items, year-ago revenue totaled 46 cents per share.

Samís Club hosting holiday open house

Sam’s Club, 6736 Lima Road, will allow nonmembers to shop at the warehouse beginning today.

The retailer is opening its doors to the public, both at the club and online, during a three-day “Holiday Open House” that ends Sunday.

For more information, call the store at 490-0626.

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