Roundup: Amazon launching grocery chain / Consumer spending falls / Energy companies cut spending

    Continued expansion: Amazon.com Inc. is planning to open dozens of grocery stores in several major U.S. cities, as the retail giant looks to broaden its reach in the food business, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company plans to open its first grocery store in Los Angeles as early as the end of the year. Amazon has already signed leases for at least two other grocery locations with openings planned for early next year. Read the full story.

    Shopping break: U.S. consumer spending tumbled 0.5% in December, the biggest decline in nine years, as the holiday shopping season ended in disappointment. Meanwhile, incomes that rose sharply in December edged down in January. The fall in consumer spending followed sizable gains of 0.7% in October and 0.6% in November, the Commerce Department reported. December’s result means spending for the quarter decelerated significantly, a primary factor in the slowing of the overall economy during the fourth quarter. Read the full story.

    Less is more: Though U.S. shale energy companies are cutting their spending levels in 2019, they’re still planning on increased oil and gas output as the nation continues to hit new production records, The Houston Chronicle reports. Shale energy companies expect to cut capital spending by 5% on average after crude prices plunged late last year, even though Big Oil majors like ExxonMobil and Chevron continue to spend more. However, oil and gas production levels are expected to still surge 15% from last year, or 5% from the end of last year, according to a new report from the Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy. Read the full story.

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