The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, May 04, 2021 1:00 am


Buffett's successor confirmed

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OMAHA, Neb. – Vice Chairman Greg Abel will succeed billionaire Warren Buffett as Berkshire Hathaway CEO, according to a report.

Buffett confirmed the succession plan Monday to CNBC after Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger let slip the plan during the company's annual meeting Saturday.

The 90-year-old Buffett told CNBC that if anything happened to him, Abel, who currently oversees all of Berkshire's non-insurance companies, would be the one to take the top post. Buffett said that if for some reason Abel couldn't do the job, then Vice Chairman Ajit Jain, who oversees Geico and all of Berkshire's other insurance units, would become CEO.

Buffett has said he has no plans to retire.

Apple, Epic Games face off in trial

Apple's lucrative app store was alternately portrayed as a price-gouging monopoly and a hub of world-changing innovation during the preamble to a trial that may reshape the technological landscape.

The contrasting portraits were drawn Monday as lawyers for Apple and its foe, Epic Games, outlined their cases in an Oakland, California, federal court.

While Apple depicted its app store as an invaluable service beloved by consumers and developers, Epic Games attacked it as a breakthrough idea that has morphed into an instrument of financial exploitation that illegally locks out competition. The trial centers on the 15% to 30% commission that Apple charges for subscriptions and purchases made from apps downloaded from its store – the only one accessible on the iPhone, iPad and iPod.

Manufacturing slows in April

Growth in U.S. manufacturing slowed slightly in April, partly because of a snarled global supply chain, after hitting a 37-year high in March.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday its index of manufacturing activity fell last month to a reading of 60.7, down from a March reading of 64.7, which had been the highest level since December 1983.

Any reading above 50 indicates manufacturing is expanding. April was the 11th consecutive month manufacturing has grown after contracting in April 2020, when the country was struggling to deal with the shutdowns caused by a global pandemic.

The slowdown in April reflected problems such as disruptions in supply chains for vital components such as computer chips.

Construction spending on rise

U.S. construction spending bounced back in March following a February beset by frigid cold and winter storms across large swaths of the country.

However, spending on construction projects rose just 0.2% in March, the Commerce Department said Monday, significantly less than the 1.7% jump economists expected. February's decline was revised downward even further, to –1.2% from the previous reading of –0.8%.

Private construction continued to grow, but at a slower pace, up 0.7% from the previous month, with residential construction up 1.7%.

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