Global Glance: UK stimulus likely, US consumer spending grows

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

UK central bank to help economy through Brexit with stimulus

LONDON (AP) — With the British economy in its deepest trouble since the global financial crisis in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union, the Bank of England is expected to unveil Thursday stimulus measures including a rate cut and, possibly, the creation of billions in new money. Early indicators since the June 23 vote suggest that the economy is contracting at its sharpest rate since 2009. Manufacturing, services and consumer spending are falling, the pound is down 10 percent and questions linger over what trade relations the country will have with the rest of the EU in coming years. As a result, the Bank of England is expected to cut its key interest rate from a record-low 0.5 percent on Thursday. Read more

US consumer spending grew a solid 0.4 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers turned in another strong month of spending in June despite a decline in spending on autos. Consumer spending rose a solid 0.4 percent in June after an identical increase in May and a 1 percent surge in April, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The strength in June came from a surge in spending on nondurable goods, which offset a drop in spending on autos. Economists say they think solid gains in hiring will support future growth in consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of economic growth. The economy expanded at a modest 1.2 percent annual rate in spring. Analysts say they expect double that growth rate in the second half of 2016. Read more

July US auto sales rose slightly on weaker demand

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales wilted in July, as hot weather and softening demand kept many buyers at home. Sales rose less than 1 percent over last July, to just over 1.5 million new cars and trucks, according to Autodata Corp. Sales were strong at the beginning of the month thanks to Independence Day promotions, but weakened after that, Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Alec Gutierrez said. After six straight years of growth – and record sales of 17.5 million new vehicles last year- U.S. auto sales are beginning to plateau. In the first six months of last year, for example, sales were up 4 percent, or more than double the pace of this year. Read more

Paid family leave benefits rising in some sectors, regions

NEW YORK (AP) — The call for paid family leave on the Democratic party platform is the most ambitious attempt by a major party in years to reverse the United States’ status as the only industrialized nation without any standard for paid time off for new parents. But over the last five years a handful of states and some industries have been quietly increasing this benefit. Last week’s convention put paid family leave on the list of workplace election issues along with the minimum wage and equal pay. The Democrats say they will try to secure up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to care for a new child. While the Republican platform makes no specific reference to paid family leave, the GOP in 2015 called for establishing a “flexible credit hour program” in which workers could exchange overtime hours worked for future leave time. Read more

Union seeks ouster of Southwest CEO after IT breakdown

DALLAS (AP) — Two major unions at Southwest Airlines are demanding that the carrier replace its CEO because of the technology outage that caused the airline to cancel or delay thousands of flights in July. Technology experts are questioning whether Southwest fell short in designing and testing its computer systems. A top Southwest executive told The Associated Press on Monday that the July 20 outage will cost the airline “into the tens of millions” of dollars – a huge increase in the original estimate of between $5 million and $10 million. Read more

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