EMPLOYMENT

Home Depot hiring 1,300

Home Depot is hiring more than 1,300 workers in Northeast Ohio during the next few months for seasonal and permanent part-time positions.

Positions for sales associates and cashiers are among the openings. Others include those in operations and online order fulfillment. Most of the seasonal positions are in the garden department and for lot associates, whose duties include helping customers with loading their vehicles after purchasing merchandise.

Applicants may apply at either careers.homedepot.com or by texting HOMEDEPOT to 52270 to receive a link to apply for openings in Northeast Ohio.

The Northeast Ohio openings are among 80,000 nationwide.

FEDERAL RESERVE

Gradual rate increases likely

The Federal Reserve says it expects that the ongoing strength of the U.S. economy will warrant gradual increases in interest rates this year, delivering the same steady-as-it-goes message under new leader Jerome Powell as it had provided under Janet Yellen.

The Fed’s projection on rate increase came with the release Friday of its semi-annual monetary report to Congress. Powell will testify on the report before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, making his first public appearance since taking over as chairman earlier this month.

The report stated that the Fed expects steady economic gains will warrant “further gradual increases” in the Fed’s benchmark rate. But it said the rate was likely to remain low enough to stimulate the economy over the next two years.

Mester speaks at N.Y. event

Loretta Mester, president of the Fed’s Cleveland regional bank, suggested Friday that the central bank should embark this year on a review of its operating strategies. The Fed seeks to manage interest rates to promote maximum employment and stable prices, which it defines as inflation rising at an annual rate of 2 percent.

“After coming through the financial crisis and Great Recession, the economy has returned to normal and monetary policy … is normalizing,” Mester said in remarks to a conference in New York sponsored by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “This suggests to me that it may be appropriate later this year to begin an assessment of our current monetary policy framework and alternatives.”

PIZZA

Domino’s claims global title

Domino’s Pizza claimed the title of largest pizza company in the world this week, passing Pizza Hut. The company, in its fourth-quarter earnings report, said its self-proclaimed No. 1 ranking is based on global retail sales.

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino’s edged out Pizza Hut of Plano, Texas, which had been the largest pizza chain, with $12.2 billion in global sales for 2017. Pizza Hut — which is part of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands as are Taco Bell and KFC — had sales of $12.03 billion.

Domino’s reported the company reported a $277.9 million profit for its 2017 fiscal year.

In fiscal 2017, the company said it opened 1,045 stores, of which 216 were in the United States and 829 were international stores.

AUTOS

Daimler shares acquired

Daimler says that Chinese businessman Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely, has acquired nearly 10 percent of the German automaker’s shares.

Geely, which owns Sweden’s Volvo Cars, continues to expand its portfolio of vehicle brands that includes a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysia’s Proton and a 51 percent stake in Britain’s Lotus. Geely also owns Geely Auto, one of China’s biggest independent automakers.

Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz and one of the world’s biggest automakers, reported record profits of $13.5 billion last year.

Shares in Daimler ticked up slightly in European trading Friday, to about $86 per share, putting the value of the deal in the neighborhood of $9 billion.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.