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US retail sales flat in July

U.S. retail sales were essentially flat in July, providing evi­dence that consumers have yet to shed their doubts about the economy despite recent job gains.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that seasonally adjusted retail sales were unchanged in July compared with the previous month. Total sales rose a statistically insignificant $161 million from $439.6 billion in June.

Spending dipped at auto dealers and department stores last month. The losses were offset by gains at grocery stores, gasoline stations, restaurants, clothiers and building material stores.

US stockpiles up,but at weaker pace

U.S. businesses added to their stockpiles at a slightly slower pace in June compared with May, possibly reflecting weaker sales in the past two months.

Business stockpiles increased 0.4 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis after a 0.5 percent gain in May, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Sales rose 0.3 percent in June, matching the May increase. Sales have slowed after rapid gains from February through April.

The sales slowdown was also evident in a separate report showing that July retail sales were flat.

But analysts say they think solid job growth will give a boost to consumer spending and to the economy in coming months.

Many foresee an annual economic growth rate of around 3 percent in the second half of this year.

Inventory growth is closely watched by economists. When companies add goods to store shelves and warehouses, it shows optimism about future demand.

Increasing orders to restock lifts factory production and overall economic growth.

Kellogg aims to cutcarbon emissions

Cereal maker Kellogg says it's stepping up efforts to reduce carbon emissions in its supply chain as part of a broader initiative to be more environmentally friendly.

The Battle Creek, Michigan, company said Wednesday that it will require key suppliers such as farms and mills to measure and publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions.

It is also strengthening requirements for its own plants.

Chief sustainability officer Diane Holdorf says customers and stakeholders expect such actions and the company wants to hold itself accountable.

Other planned actions include being more energy-efficient, using less water and sending less waste to landfills.

Bendix to upgradeHuntington factory

Bendix Commercial Vehi­cle Systems LLC is investing $3.2 million in equipment and upgrades at its Huntington fac­tory, company officials announced Wednesday.

The Elyria, Ohio, company can produce several million remanufactured commercial vehicle brake shoes in the plant each year.

Bendix, which employs 430 people in Huntington, started operations in the Huntington County city in the fall of 2012. The company now occupies 547,000 square feet of factory space there.