Global Glance: Trump to get tough on trade; US consumer spending rose sluggishly in February

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

Trump to sign executive orders targeting trade abuses

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump talked tough on trade on the campaign trail, vowing to renegotiate a slew of major deals and to label China a currency manipulator on “Day One.” Now his administration appears to be taking a more cautious approach. On Friday, the president will sign a pair of executive orders aimed at cracking down on trade abuses, according to top administration officials. The first calls for the completion of a large-scale report to identify “every form of trade abuse and every non-reciprocal practice that now contributes to the U.S. trade deficit,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Read more

US consumer spending rose a sluggish 0.1 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers increased their spending at the weakest pace in six months, while the 12-month rise in consumer prices was the largest in nearly five years. The Commerce Department says consumer spending edged up a tiny 0.1 percent in February following a 0.2 percent increase in January. The small gain supports the view of many economists that overall economic growth probably slowed in the first quarter. Meanwhile, an inflation gauge closely watched by the Federal Reserve increased 2.1 percent in February compared to a year ago. It is the sharpest 12-month rise since March 2012. Read more

Is ‘Obamacare’ repeal dead — or a legislative zombie?

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s plan to kill Obamacare died last week. Or maybe it didn’t. The repeal effort seems to have assumed zombie status – somewhere between dead and alive. This is never-say-die Washington, where big legislative proposals that are in the casket one day can show signs of a pulse and start climbing out the next. To say that Trump and Republican congressional leaders are sending mixed signals about the viability of the repeal effort is an understatement. Read more

VW to pay over $157 million to settle emissions claims by 10 states

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen is paying more than $157 million to 10 states to settle environmental lawsuits over the company’s diesel emissions-cheating scandal. The company says the money will go to Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. All 10 states follow California’s clean air standards. The settlement covers 3-Liter six-cylinder diesel engines and is separate from a $603 million agreement reached last year with 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico that covered 2-liter engines. Read more

Some Gordmans department stores bought by rival chain

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Another department store operator has won the chance to buy about half of Gordmans’ more than 100 stores out of bankruptcy. Stage Stores Inc. said Thursday that it was the winning bidder for Gordmans’ assets, and it plans to buy and run at least 50 stores and one of Gordmans’ distribution centers. The rest of Omaha, Nebraska-based Gordmans’ assets will be liquidated by Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group. Read more

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