Global Glance: Investors seek hint on rate hike timetable; US economy grew slowly in spring

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

Investors to seek any hint of Yellen timetable on rate hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Janet Yellen steps to the microphone Friday morning at an annual central bank forum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, investors will be listening for one thing above all: Any hint of the Federal Reserve chair’s expected timetable for the next interest rate increase. Some of Yellen’s colleagues, including the host of the forum – Esther George, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – have suggested that the time is ripe for the Fed to resume raising rates. Other Fed officials, including several close to Yellen, have favored a more cautious approach. George said Thursday that if the outlook for the economy unfolds as she expects, she would vote for a rate hike at the Fed’s next policy meeting, Sept. 20-21. Read more

US economy grew at tepid 1.1 percent pace in spring

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a sluggish pace this spring as businesses sharply reduced their stockpiles of goods and spent less on new buildings and equipment. The Commerce Department says gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy, increased at an annual rate of 1.1 percent in the April-June quarter. That is slightly below its previous estimate last month of 1.2 percent growth. Consumers offset the corporate cutbacks by spending at the fastest pace in six quarters. Read more

World’s first self-driving taxis debut in Singapore

SINGAPORE (AP) — The world’s first self-driving taxis were scheduled to begin ferrying passengers around Singapore starting Thursday. Select members of the public will be able to hail a free ride through their smartphones in taxis operated by nuTonomy, an autonomous vehicle software startup. While multiple companies, including Google and Volvo, have been testing self-driving cars on public roads for several years, nuTonomy says it will be the first to offer rides to the public. It will beat ride-hailing service Uber, which plans to offer rides in autonomous cars in Pittsburgh, by a few weeks. Read more

VW: Employee chief floats idea of taking stakes in suppliers

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen’s employee council chief is suggesting that the automaker consider taking stakes in suppliers after a dispute disrupted production in Germany. Volkswagen on Tuesday ended the dispute with two suppliers who stopped delivering parts, briefly affecting nearly 28,000 workers at six plants. Employee council chief Bernd Osterloh, who sits on Volkswagen’s supervisory board, told news agency dpa in comments published Friday that the standoff suggests the company may need “an extra warning system” to reduce risks. Read more

Orders for US durable goods rebounded in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods surged in July, lifted in part by the biggest increase in orders in a key investment category since January. Orders for durable goods jumped 4.4 percent in July, rebounding from a 4.2 percent plunge in June, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The changes in both months were driven by swings in the volatile category of commercial aircraft. An important category that serves as a proxy for business investment rose 1.6 percent in July, up from a 0.5 percent rise in June. It was the best showing in this category in six months. Read more

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