Global Glance: Trump inherits durable, but sluggish economy; EU sees pause on free trade deal with US

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

The economy that Trump inherits: Durable but sluggish

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump inherits a much sturdier economy than the one Barack Obama carried into his second term four years ago. Back then, the scars of the Great Recession were still fresh. Joblessness was near 8 percent. Pay was flat. Europe faced a grave debt crisis that threatened to spread across the Atlantic. Now? The job market, with steady hiring and just 4.9 percent unemployment, has proved durable. Pay is finally accelerating. Auto sales are near a record pace. Housing is stronger. Europe’s financial plight has stabilized. Yet the Americans who elected Trump are longing not just for change but for a reversal of the Obama era – one that will ignite growth, slash taxes, restore lost factory jobs and curb most federal regulations. Read more

EU sees pause on free trade deal with US

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top trade official says talks on the planned Trans-Atlantic trade deal are set to be put on hold following the election of Donald Trump in the United States. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said Friday that “with the new president-elect we don’t really know what will happen” with the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Pact. She said “there is strong reason to believe that there would be a pause in TTIP, that this might not be the biggest priority for the new administration.” Read more

Chinese e-shoppers spend billions on Singles Day

BEIJING (AP) — In a bright spot for China’s cooling economy, online shoppers spent billions of dollars Friday on “Singles Day,” a quirky holiday that has grown into the world’s busiest day for e-commerce. The country’s biggest e-commerce brand, Alibaba Group, said sales by the thousands of retailers on its platforms passed 91.2 billion yuan ($13.4 billion) in the first 15 hours of the event. That is four times the $3 billion research firm comScore says Americans spent in total last year on Cyber Monday, the country’s biggest online shopping day. Read more

Trump likely to try to reverse Obama environment initiatives

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump has not minced words about his approach to environment and energy policy: He loathes regulation and wants to increase the use of coal, offshore drilling and fracking. Trump has said he believes climate change is a hoax and that he would “cancel” U.S. involvement in the landmark Paris Agreement on global warming. While he’s been vague about precise policies, Trump’s election likely means trouble for some of President Barack Obama’s signature environmental initiatives, environmentalists and policy analysts say. Read more

GM may find jobs for laid-off workers at other factories

DETROIT (AP) — The head of the United Auto Workers union says about 2,000 General Motors factory workers who face layoff in January could be placed at other company factories. President Dennis Williams told reporters Thursday that the UAW is talking with GM. He says there may be enough jobs for all the workers but he’s not sure yet. GM announced Wednesday it would indefinitely lay off third-shift workers at two car factories in Ohio and Michigan due to falling demand. But there may be more jobs available at truck and SUV factories where sales are growing. Read more

Nintendo ending Japan sales of Wii U, shifting to Switch

TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo Co. is ending sales in Japan of its Wii U home console “soon,” although it’s not saying exactly when, and similar announcements are expected in other regions. The Wii U, which went on sale from late 2012, is being replaced by Switch, set to go on sale globally in March 2017. Nintendo says it will show it to reporters in Japan on Jan. 13. The Japanese video game manufacturer behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises has already shipped Wii U machines for U.S. sales through March, company spokesman Kenichiro Matsuura said Friday. Read more

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