Money briefs

US inflation up last month

WASHINGTON - A surge in petrol prices pushed US consumer inflation modestly higher last month, the fourth month in a row of gains, the Labour Department has said.

The consumer price index rose 0.4 per cent last month, almost entirely driven by a 10.4 per cent jump in petrol prices, rebounding from a decline in April.

Last month's inflation was a bit weaker than the expected 0.5 per cent. The Federal Reserve says tepid inflation is largely due to transitory factors, such as the decline in oil prices in the past year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Drone parcel delivery hurdle

WASHINGTON - Amazon has insisted on a significant change to proposed US drone regulations before it introduces a 30-minute Prime Air parcel delivery by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to its American customers.

The online retail giant - a major player in the development of UAVs for civilian missions - acknowledged safety concerns as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hammers out a final set of commercial drone-flying rules. But on Wednesday it balked at the FAA's proposal that small UAVs fly only in full view of their operators on the ground - not at a distance beyond the line of sight.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Biggest buyers of US homes

BOSTON - Chinese buyers overtook Canadians to rank as the biggest foreign purchasers of American homes by both sales and dollar volume, accounting for more than a quarter of all international spending.

Buyers from China spent US$28.6 billion (S$38.5 billion) on homes in the United States and made up 16 per cent of transactions by foreigners in the 12 months until March, according to an annual report released on Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors.

Canadians, who had led international purchases since 2008, ranked second with US$11.2 billion in spending and a 14 per cent share of sales.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2015, with the headline 'Money briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe