Global Glance: EU, German officials downplay trade talk reports; US consumer spending down

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

EU, German officials play down reports of trade talk failure

BRUSSELS (AP) — Both the European Union’s lead negotiator in trade talks with the United States and the spokesman for Germany’s chancellor on Monday downplayed assertions that negotiations on the proposed landmark pact have collapsed. German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany’s vice chancellor, had said Sunday that “in my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it.” Gabriel noted that in 14 rounds of talks on the massive trans-Atlantic pact, commonly known as TTIP, the two sides haven’t agreed on a single common item out of 27 chapters being discussed. Read more

US consumer spending posts slower growth in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers boosted spending at a slower pace in July, while their incomes accelerated slightly. The Commerce Department says spending grew 0.3 percent in July following a 0.5 percent increase in June. The slowdown had been expected given an earlier report that retail sales were flat in July. Incomes grew 0.4 percent in July, up from a 0.3 percent increase in June. Economists are counting on solid gains in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, to power overall growth in the second half of the year. Read more

Yellen offers no timetable for suggested rate hike

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that the case for raising interest rates has strengthened in light of a solid job market and an improved outlook for the U.S. economy and inflation. But she stopped short of offering any timetable. Yellen sketched a generally upbeat assessment of the economy in a speech to an annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She pointed to steady gains in employment and strength in consumer spending. Read more

Drones meet drought in skies of storied California farmland

LOS BANOS, Calif. (AP) — In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. And Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of San Francisco. About 2,100 companies and individuals have federal permission to fly drones for farming, according to the drone industry’s Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Federal regulators planned to relax the rules Monday on commercial drones, a move that could spur even greater use of such aircraft on farms. Read more

Mylan launching generic version of EpiPen

NEW YORK (AP) — Mylan says it will make available a generic version of its EpiPen, as criticism mounts over the price of its injectable medicine. The company said Monday that its U.S. subsidiary will put out a generic version of the EpiPen that will have a list price of $300 for a two-pack – about half the current price. It will be available in both 0.15 mg and 0.30 mg strengths. EpiPens are used in emergencies to treat severe allergies to insect bites and foods like nuts and eggs that can lead to anaphylactic shock. Read more

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