Business digest: Burger King offers new, lower-calorie fries

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Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 12:00 am

Burger King launched a new crinkle-cut french fry on Tuesday that it says has about 20 percent fewer calories than its regular fries. The chain said a small order of the new “Satisfries” clocks in at 270 calories because of a new batter that doesn't absorb as much oil. By comparison, a small order of its regular fries has 340 calories. Burger King executives said the Satisfries use the same ingredients as its regular fries — potatoes, oil and batter. The crinkle-cut shape is intended in part to ensure workers will be able to easily distinguish them from the regular fries when they're deep frying them together.

U.S. home prices rose 12.4 percent in July compared with a year ago, the most since February 2006. An increase in sales on a limited supply of available homes drove the gains. The Standard &Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index reported Tuesday improved from June, when it rose 12.1 percent from a year ago. And all 20 cities posted gains in July from the previous month and compared with a year ago. Still, the month-over-month price gains shrank in 15 cities in July compared with the previous month, indicating prices may be peaking.

Americans' confidence in the economy fell slightly in September from August, as many became less optimistic about hiring and pay increases over the next six months. The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said Tuesday its consumer confidence index dropped to 79.7 in September. That's down from August's 81.8, which was slightly higher than previously estimated.

Chrysler Group is reluctantly preparing for an initial public offering of some of its shares, filing the IPO paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late Monday. The automaker is proceeding after it failed to reach an agreement on the value of the stock with the retiree trust that owns it. The automaker is now majority-owned by Italian automaker Fiat SpA. The shares that would be sold are owned by a United Auto Workers-run trust that pays the health care costs for around 130,000 blue-collar Chrysler retirees. The trust owns a 41.5 percent stake in Chrysler. Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler, has made it clear that he wants to buy up the UAW's share and combine Fiat and Chrysler. But the two sides have been unable to agree on a price.

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