Business Report: Dinner, Movie Or Gas?
KPBS anchor Ebone Monet and SDSU marketing lecturer Miro Copic discuss some of the week’s top business stories.
Q: How does gas, close to $4 a gallon, impact consumer spending?
A: They've inched up 61 cents since January and 33 cents just in the last month alone. So that translates since the beginning of the year to basically $9 more per fill up. So if you fill up four times a month that's $36 dollars that you're going to spend more on gas. Maybe that's a utility bill. That's a dinner out. That's a movie. So consumers are going to start to make choices and what it looks like is that the gas is going to continue to go up going into the summer driving season.
Q: Will the tech campus set to take over the former Horton Plaza site turn into a San Diego tech hub?
A: That was the intent when Stockdale Capital Partners kind of bought Horton Plaza. They wanted to convert that into this tech campus to bring in 4,000 employees into downtown. And really make downtown, Sorrento Valley and hopefully Carlsbad three big tech hub areas of San Diego. One of the challenges is that the grant deed for Horton Plaza requires 600,000 square feet of retail space. And what the builder and what this developer has done is they flipped it around. They want 600,000 square feet as office space.
Q: Bank of America is raising its minimum wage to $20 an hour. Will other companies follow suit?
A: I think a lot of companies have pushed B of A and other banks to do so because, after the Great Recession, the banks really struggled to make profits there. There's a lot of government regulation. There was a lot of people removing funds from banks, but in the last few years, banks have been insanely profitable. One of the big areas that are targeted is CEO pay. So if Bank of America’s CEO makes on average 250 times the median salary of a worker, from an optics perspective, that's a major issue.