County finance officials predict large deficits over next five years

URBANA — Champaign County finance officials project expenses to exceed revenues in coming years.

The resulting financial challenges will likely play a role as the county considers possibilities at its two jails and other projects.

Retail sales soared 1.6% in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales surged in March at the fastest pace since late 2017, as spending on autos, gasoline, furniture and clothing jumped.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that sales increased a seasonally adjusted 1.6% from February, the strongest increase since September 2017.

Jim Dey | Facts behind tax campaign slogans tell different tale

The pro- and anti-tax crowds in Illinois have never been on friendly terms, their conflicting philosophies representing a general disdain for each other.

But the ongoing battle over Gov. J.B. Pritzker's progressive income-tax hike plan has thrown gasoline on the low-level fire that always burns between them.

Illini legend Downey adds Entrepreneur of the Year to list of accolades

CHAMPAIGN — The awards keep coming for Champaign businessman, Illini basketball legend and generous donor Dave Downey.

AAR to lay off 80 at Rockford jet repair hub

ROCKFORD (AP) — Aircraft maintenance and repair company AAR in June will lay off about half its workforce in Rockford, citing an expected seasonal downturn in work.

Wood Dale-based AAR began operating out of the Greater Rockford Airport Authority's twin-hangar maintenance center in late 2016 after signing a 10-year lease. The hanger was built with $40 million in taxpayer funds.

India's Jet Airways suspending operations

NEW DELHI (AP) — Jet Airways, once India's largest airline, announced on Wednesday that it is suspending all operations after failing to raise enough money to run its services.

The company said it has been informed by its lenders, led by state-run State Bank of India, that they are unable to consider its request for funding to keep flying.

EU threatens to tax $20 billion of U.S. goods over Boeing aid

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has drawn up a list of $20 billion worth of U.S. products it could tax in an escalating feud over plane industry subsidies, the EU's executive commission said Wednesday.

Trade deficit narrows to $49.4 billion in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell for the second straight month in February, and the politically sensitive deficit in the trade of goods with China narrowed.

China's economic growth steady amid tariff fight

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's economic growth held steady in the latest quarter despite a tariff war with Washington as Beijing's efforts to reverse a slowdown started to gain traction.

Four Roses eyes expanded U.S. sales with distillery expansion

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — An iconic Kentucky bourbon that reintroduced itself to American whiskey drinkers only last decade is ready to ramp up production in hopes of gaining a greater foothold in the U.S.

Four Roses Distillery on Tuesday celebrated the completion of a $55 million expansion that will double production capacity at its plant at Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.