Global Glance: US economy grew in first quarter, $50 oil not a consumer threat

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

US economy grew at 0.8 percent rate in first quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy’s slowdown in growth at the beginning of the year wasn’t quite as bad as first thought, thanks to a bigger boost from housing and less drag from business investment and trade. The gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, grew at an annual rate of 0.8 percent in the first quarter, slightly better than the 0.5 percent first estimated, the Commerce Department said Friday. Read more


$50 oil shouldn’t pose major threat to consumers, economy

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil topped $50 a barrel this week for the first time since July, delivering a cash infusion to oil producers and a lift to beaten-down energy stocks. Yet the arrival of higher energy prices isn’t necessarily bad news for consumers – at least not yet. Analysts expect gasoline and airline fares to stay relatively low at least through the summer travel season. And most think the economy can withstand slightly higher energy costs. Read more


Microsoft, Facebook team up to build undersea Internet cable

Microsoft and Facebook are building a new underwater Internet cable that will cross the Atlantic Ocean, carrying customers’ data between North America and Southern Europe. The giant tech companies say they helped design the high-speed cable to carry data for their growing numbers of online consumers and commercial customers. Read more


8 automakers recall over 12 million vehicles for Takata air bags

DETROIT (AP) — Eight automakers are recalling more than 12 million vehicles in the U.S. to replace potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators. Documents detailing recalls by Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Ferrari and Mitsubishi were posted Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Read more


Abe claims success as G-7 leaders back action on economies

SHIMA, Japan (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe claimed success Friday in winning support for his approach to fighting off a possible economic crisis from fellow leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations, despite mounting evidence the formula is failing to yield promised results in Japan. Abe appealed for more action to stave off a downturn, insisting that an earlier lack of urgency contributed to the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Read more


US probes e-commerce giant Alibaba’s accounting practices

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba wowed investors when it went public in the U.S. in September 2014, and its profits have bucked Wall Street expectations amid the Chinese economy’s slowdown. Yet its unorthodox business structure has raised eyebrows, it’s been suspended from an anti-counterfeiting group, and now U.S. regulators are investigating its accounting practices. Read more


French protestors disrupt airport; gas shortages ease

PARIS (AP) — Union activists disrupted the Marseille airport Friday and halted activity at half of the country’s oil refineries in protests over changes to France’s labor system, but nationwide gasoline shortages eased slightly after government intervention. Read more

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