business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Associated Press reports that US consumer confidence was down for the third month in a row, "as optimism about job prospects and business conditions down the road grow weaker."

The Conference Board, which tracks these things, says that "its consumer confidence index edged down to 125.9 in October, compared with 126.3 in September."

However, the Conference Board also projected that declining consumer confidence is unlikely to impact holiday spending.

I wouldn't be so confident about holiday spending. We seem to be in hell-in-a-hand-basket territory these days, which could have a dampening effect on people's willingness to spend on presents.

Crain's Chicago Business reports that "ahead of its Reserve Roastery opening on the Mag Mile, Starbucks today announced that it will pour $10 million in local community development lenders to spur economic development and entrepreneurship in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods.

"The investment will be split between four community lenders: Accion Chicago, Chicago Community Loan Fund, Local Initiative Support Corporation and IFF. The organizations are community development financial institutions that provide loans to nonprofits and other projects in low-income communities. The $10 million from Starbucks is expected to finance more 500 loans, according to a statement from the coffee giant." 
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