Global Glance: US GDP slows, Fed keeps an eye overseas

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

US GDP growth slowed to 0.5 percent rate in first quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy inched forward at the weakest pace in two years from January through March, as consumer spending slowed, business investment plunged and exports declined further. The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, grew by a tiny 0.5 percent in the first quarter. Read more

While leaving US interest rates unchanged, Fed keeps an eye overseas

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the Federal Reserve chose not to raise its key interest rate, it nevertheless made clear that its next move will be another increase. That stance puts it at odds with other major central banks, which are doing the reverse – seeking to ease credit to spur lending. That policy divergence could pose risks for the global economy and may be a reason the Fed has at least slowed its march toward higher rates. Read more

VW to spend up to $8.8 billion on diesel buybacks, fixes

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen said Thursday it had set aside 7.8 billion euros ($8.8 billion) to buy back or fix diesel-powered cars that had been rigged to cheat in emissions tests. The sum is part of 16.2 billion euros the company deducted from last year’s earnings to cover the costs of the emissions scandal. Read more

Anthem voices optimism on ACA exchange growth prospects

Health insurer Anthem aims to pull a small profit this year from the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges, and its CEO said Wednesday he’s “really glad” to be serving nearly 1 million people in this still-developing market. The Blue Cross-Blue Shield carrier’s message arrived about a week after rival UnitedHealth Group said it was bleeding money on the exchanges and slashing its presence down to a handful of states. Read more

Ford’s 1Q net income doubles on truck, SUV sales

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co.’s net income more than doubled to $2.5 billion in the first quarter as strong sales of trucks and SUVs pushed North American revenue to record levels. The company’s pretax profit of $3.8 billion was an all-time record for any quarter. Pretax profits more than doubled in North America and Asia, while Europe recorded its best quarter since 2008. Read more

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