Business: Retired Publix Head Dies; China Inflation Stays Low; Italian PM Leaving

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Retired Publix president Mark Hollis has died at a Florida hospital.
The Florida-based supermarket chain says Hollis died Friday at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center. He was 78.
Hollis served as the company's president from 1984 until 1996, when he was elected vice chairman of the board of directors. He retired in 1999 and remained on the board until 2005.
Public CEO Ed Crenshaw says Hollis was "a Publix icon." Hollis' first job with the company was bagging potatoes in 1946 at age 12. He rose from store manager to various executive positions before joining the board in 1974.
Hollis graduated from Stetson University in 1956 and earned a master's degree from Michigan State University.
Publix employs more than 156,000 people in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina.

BEIJING (AP) -- China's main gauge of inflation rose 2.0 percent in November, up from the previous month's 1.7 percent, driven largely by food price increases, the government said Sunday.
The 3.0 percent rise in food prices included an 11.3 percent boost in the cost of vegetables, which was due to cold weather disruptions, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Food prices are unusually sensitive in a society where the poorest families spend up to half their incomes to eat.
China's economic growth has been slowing, falling last quarter to a three-and-a-half-year low of 7.4 percent as the country's leadership pursues a policy of targeted stimulus. The government has aimed to keep a lid on any economic overheating and sharp price rises that followed its huge stimulus in response to the 2008 global crisis.
Forecasters expect growth to rebound this quarter or early in 2013, but say it will be gradual and likely too weak to drive global growth.

ROME (AP) -- Premier Mario Monti has told Italy's president that he's resigning soon.
Monti says he can no longer govern after Silvio Berlusconi's party withdrew crucial support. It paves the way for early elections a year after the unelected economist helped pull the country back from the brink of financial disaster.
Only hours earlier, Berlusconi announced he would run for a fourth term as premier in early 2013, aiming for a dramatic comeback, considering the billionaire media baron quit in disgrace in November 2011.
The office of President Giorgio Napolitano says the premier told the head of state on Saturday that without the support of Berlusconi's party, "he cannot further carry out his mandate, and consequently made clear his intention to resign" once Parliament passes a crucial budget bill soon.
Political turmoil in Italy, mired in recession and trying to escape the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, could spook financial markets, which, with Monti at the helm, had steadily regained faith in the country's ability to honor its debts.


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