Global Glance: US businesses adding jobs at slowest pace in 3 years, Auto sales hit April record

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

Survey: US businesses add jobs at slowest pace in 3 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies added jobs at the slowest pace in three years in April, a private survey found, a sign that slower growth and volatile financial markets could weigh on hiring. The slowdown was driven by weaker hiring at medium and larger companies. Small businesses added jobs at the same pace as previous months. Read more

Auto sales hit April record on trucks and SUVs

DETROIT (AP) — America’s love of trucks and SUVs helped push the auto industry to its best April ever, with most automakers reporting healthy increases. U.S. consumers bought just over 1.5 million vehicles in April, nudging out the old record set in April of 2005, according to Kelley Blue Book. Read more

AP sources: Takata recall could more than double in size

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators are in talks with Takata Corp. to add tens of millions of air bag inflators to what already is the biggest auto recall in American history, three people briefed on the matter said Tuesday. Read more

US productivity shrinks again in first quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. productivity fell again in the first three months of the year, while labor costs rose at the fastest pace in more than a year. The Labor Department says productivity declined at an annual rate of 1 percent in the January-March period, following a 1.7 percent decline in October-December quarter. Read more

Australia rules out sale of cattle empire to foreigners

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s current government will never sell its largest cattle empire to foreigners, the treasurer said on Wednesday after blocking a takeover by a Chinese-led consortium. Chinese-based Dakang Australia Holdings on Tuesday withdrew its application to buy an 80 percent stake in Australia’s largest private landholding, S. Kidman & Co. Ltd., after Treasurer Scott Morrison last week announced a preliminary view that the sale was contrary to the national interest. Read more

US trade deficit in March smallest in 16 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell in March to the lowest level in 16 months as imports plunged by the largest amount since the depths of the recession seven years ago.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit narrowed to $40.4 billion in March, a drop of 13.9 percent from February. It was the smallest trade gap since November 2014. Read more

Royal Dutch Shell first quarter earnings down 58 percent

LONDON (AP) — Oil company Royal Dutch Shell said first-quarter earnings plunged 58 percent as depressed crude prices create “hugely challenging times” for the energy industry. The Anglo-Dutch company said Wednesday that profit adjusted for changes in the value of inventories and excluding one-time items dropped to $1.55 billion from $3.74 billion in the same period of 2015. Read more

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