The Washington Post

ALSO I N BUSINESS

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U.S. manufactur­ing activity slowed less than expected last month and there were signs that supply constraint­s are easing, with a measure of prices paid for inputs by factories falling to a two-year low, suggesting inflation has probably peaked. While the Institute for Supply Management survey on Monday showed a measure of factory employment contractin­g for a third month, the ISM noted that “companies continue to hire at strong rates.”

Amazon has started delivering items from brick-and-mortar stores in a dozen U.S. metro areas, the e-commerce giant’s latest effort to make more products available for speedy delivery. The company’s initial partners are Diesel, Pacsun, GNC and Superdry, Amazon said Monday. Bloomberg News in May reported that Amazon was testing the service, which uses the company’s gig-economy Flex drivers to retrieve and deliver orders. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Amazon Prime members in parts of select cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, will see items from participat­ing retailers listed on the Amazon website and app.

Valvoline is selling its unit that makes lubricants, coolants and other automotive products to state-owned Saudi Aramco for $2.65 billion in cash to sharpen focus on its retail services business. The deal announced Monday builds on the company’s plan to separate the two units, with the sale proceeds set to fuel an expansion of the vehicle service center business Valvoline operates across the United States. For Aramco, it deepens a bet on the long-term demand for petrochemi­cals.

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