business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Wall Street Journal reported that "personal-consumption expenditures increased a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in March from the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday. Adjusting for inflation, consumer spending rose 0.2% last month, driven by higher services spending. Household spending also rose at a faster rate than inflation from a year earlier.

"Consumers stepped up spending on services like travel and dining, as well as on goods like gasoline and food. Spending on durable goods declined for the second month in a row, led by lower spending on vehicles."

•  From the New York Times:

"The Arkansas state attorney general is suing the value-store chain Family Dollar, claiming the company knew of a 'massive and long-lasting' rodent infestation at a West Memphis distribution center but still continued to sell potentially contaminated products that were stored there.

"The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday, came after the company temporarily shut down more than 400 stores in February following a Food and Drug Administration inspection that found 'a history of infestation' at the facility.

"A fumigation completed in January revealed the presence of more than 1,100 dead rodents. Internal company records indicated that more than 2,300 rodents had been collected between March and September of 2021, according to an F.D.A. report.

Federal inspectors said the company was aware of an 'increased presence of rodents' in the facility since at least January 2020.

"The suit filed by the Arkansas attorney general, Leslie Rutledge, says Family Dollar willfully neglected the proper care of the West Memphis facility and misled consumers about potentially contaminated products, all while unfairly profiting from their sale."

In a word … yuck.