Afternoon Coffee: Service Sector Off to Slow Start in 2016, Tesco Knowingly Delayed Payments to Suppliers

The latest Markit Flash U.S. Services PMI shows the country’s service sector is expanding at its slowest pace since December 2014. The index reached 53.7 this month, down from 54.3 in December.

The U.K. Grocery Code Adjudicator said British retailer Tesco breached the industry code of conduct to protect grocery suppliers by purposefully delaying payments to its suppliers. Grocery Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon said she saw internal Tesco emails that “encouraged Tesco staff to seek agreement from suppliers to the deferral of payments due to them in order to temporarily help Tesco margins.”

Ford is recalling about 391,000 Ranger pickups from model years 2004 through 2006 in the U.S. and Canada due to unsafe airbags. The airbags, made by Takata Corp., can explode and cause injuries.

Halliburton said it laid off 4,000 workers at the end of 2015 due to financial losses in the fourth quarter of the year. Halliburton Chief Executive Dave Lesar said he expected 2016 to be a “tough slog through the mud.”

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