Tourism-related sales skyrocketed to 6.9% to reach a whopping $1.2 trillion in the United States last year. According to the figures released by Commerce Department, foreign travelers spent $107.4 billion traveling to and throughout the country last year, a five-percent increase from 2005 that broke the record set earlier in 2000. The States remains a popular tourist destination for international visitors; overseas travelers continue to be an essential ingredient to the travel industry. There was a three-percent rise last year over 2005, as 51.1 million international tourists preferred to holiday in the United States last year. The increase in international travelers came primarily from Canada and Mexico.
Sony's sales and profit sizzle
Sony registered record sales and a larger net profit for the recently ended financial year. The company witnessed enormous increases in sales of digital consumer electronic gadgets. The net profit was recorded at $1.04 billion for the period between April 2006 and March 2007, a 2.2% increase from last year. The company sales hit an all-time high of $68.6 billion, which is up 10.5% over the previous year. The Japanese manufacturer is in the process of buttoning up production of CRTs (cathode ray tubes) and Vaio desktop computers, and the company's vision for the current fiscal year is to record sales of $72.5 billion and a higher net profit of $2.64 billion.
Bay Area home sales dip
The sale of Bay Area homes this April witnessed the slowest pace ever in the last 12 years. The selling prices, however, increased for the third successive month, setting a new record. According to DataQuick Information Systems, a total of 7,447 new and resale houses and condominiums were sold in Bay Area, down 10.5% from 8,317 in March, and down 18.4% from 9,129 in April last year. The median price paid for homes in the Bay Area reached a new high; last month's figure touched $659,000. In Santa Clara County, the number of homes sold was 2,009 in April, down from 2,424 the previous year. In San Mateo County, 681 houses were sold, compared to 789 last year.
U.S. expects one million tonne wheat sales to India
The U.S. wheat industry projects sales of up to one million metric tons of wheat to India this year, following interest shown by Indian government officials. India explored its options in world market for more than 5.5 million metric tons in 2006. Falling short of quality control standards, the U.S. failed to sell any grain to India last year; Australia supplied the bulk of the wheat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Wheat Associates suggest to the Indian government that they buy at least three million metric tons of wheat. A mouth-watering deal to India could result in increased wheat prices in Chicago.
US regulators approve Apple's iPhone sale in the nation
AT&T plans to start sales of the iPhone by end of next month after regulators gave it the green light. The iPhone, an Apple product, has passed its essential FCC certification milestone and is expected to create ripples in the market despite its high price. There will be two versions of the iPhone available initially—a four-gigabyte phone that will cost $499 and an eight-gigabyte phone priced at $599. The phone will be equipped with GSM (global system for mobile communications) technology and the EDGE (enhanced data rate for GSM evolution) wireless data standard. Apple shares were up by 2.2% after news of the U.S. FCC certification to the company hit the market.