Starbucks banning smoking near cafes

Starbucks customers will soon have to stamp out their cigarettes before approaching the cafes.

The Seattle-based chain says it will start banning smoking within 25 feet of its stores, beginning today, where permitted by its leases.

Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Lynn Riley says the intent is to expand the indoor no-smoking policy to the outdoor seating areas.

Consumers trimmed spending in April

Americans cut back on spending in April after their income failed to grow, a sign that economic growth may be slowing.

Consumer spending dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in April, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was the first decline since last May. It followed a 0.1 percent increase in March and a 0.8 percent jump in February.

A drop in gas prices likely lowered overall spending. Adjusted for inflation, spending ticked up 0.1 percent last month. Still, that was the smallest gain since October.

Fed panel members voice concerns about stimulus

WASHINGTON - Members of a Federal Reserve advisory committee expressed concerns this month that the Fed's low-interest-rate policies could be creating an "unsustainable bubble" in stock and bond markets.

The May 17 discussion among members of the banking advisory committee and officials at the Federal Reserve, published Friday on the Fed's website, shows the advisory group believed that the Fed's policies provided support for a slow economic recovery.

But some members worry the policies may also lead to higher inflation or market instability.

The Associated Press