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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. renters are seeing their housing costs rise at a much more manageable pace, as new construction has tempered years of runaway increases in rent. Real estate data firm Zillow says that median rent rose a seasonally adjusted 2.6 percent in June from a year ago, matching the gains in average hourly wages. Rental costs have decelerated after consistently exceeding earnings growth in previous years, a sign that additional building is giving more options. Read more
LONDON (AP) — Britain’s economy is shrinking at its steepest pace since the global financial crisis in early 2009 as a result of the vote to leave the European Union, a survey indicated Friday. The so-called purchasing managers’ index, a gauge of business activity conducted by IHS Markit, fell to 47.7 points in July from 52.4 in June. The figures are on a 100-point scale, with the 50 threshold separating growth from contraction. The survey is one of the first official measures of how the economy responded to the vote, and is based on questionnaires sent to executives in over 600 companies between July 12 and 21. Read more
BEIJING (AP) — The head of the International Monetary Fund called Friday for quick action to end uncertainty over Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, which she said is dampening global economic growth. The IMF cut this year’s global growth forecast by 0.1 percentage points to 3.1 percent in a report released this week due to the shockwaves of the British vote, said Christine Lagarde. Read more
While Fox has been the top-rated U.S. cable-news channel for 14 years, overall cable news audiences have been shrinking outside of presidential elections. More than half of Fox’s viewers are over 65, says data tracker Nielsen, compared to just 15 percent of Americans as a whole. They’re also more conservative than the general public, at a time when younger generations are trending more liberal, according to Pew. And it’s lagging in the digital efforts that many analysts consider key to attracting young people. TV remains the dominant news source, but smartphone-addicted younger people are spending less time with it. Some 84 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds get news from social media like Facebook, and increasingly on their phones, according to Pew Research Center. Research firm eMarketer has predicted that digital ad spending will surpass TV ad spending in the U.S. next year for the first time. Read more
DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines struggled to recover Thursday from a massive computer outage, as several hundred more flights were canceled or delayed around the country for a second straight day. Airline executives said a router breakdown set off a chain of failures in critical technology systems a day earlier. Backup systems didn’t work as expected, they said. Southwest said that “most systems” had recovered and were functioning by Thursday morning. After “a day of recovery,” the airline hoped to be operating normally on Friday, CEO Gary Kelly said. Read more
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