Business digest: Dollar Menu takes on new flavor at McDonald’s

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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 12:00 am

McDonald’s is introducing higher-priced options to its Dollar Menu and renaming it “Dollar Menu and More” to spur sales in the U.S. The changes came on Monday, the same day that the world’s biggest burger chain reported that its third-quarter profit rose 5 percent as it benefited from a Monopoly promotion in the U.S. and strength in the U.K. and Russia. The company plans to introduce $2 and $5 options on the Dollar Menu. The new “Dollar Menu and More” will include items including $2 burgers and a $5 20-piece chicken McNuggets.

Americans bought fewer existing homes in September than the previous month, held back by higher mortgage rates and rising prices. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of resold homes fell 1.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million. That’s down from a pace of 5.39 million in August, which was revised lower. The sales pace in August equaled July’s pace. Both were the highest in four years and are consistent with a healthy market. Many economists expect home sales will remain healthy, especially now that rates have stabilized and remain near historically low levels.

Despite uncertainty in Washington and rising oil prices and interest rates, companies are upbeat on the prospects for economic growth in the next year, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics. The firms weren’t as optimistic about hiring, according to the survey released Monday. Only 27 percent reported rising employment at their firms from July through September, down from 29 percent in the second quarter. And 37 percent expected their companies to expand payrolls in the next six months, down from 39 percent.

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