Business Briefs – January 15, 2017

Millennials Are Falling Behind Their Boomer Parents

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) – Baby Boomers: your millennial children are worse off than you.

Millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.

The analysis being released Friday gives concrete details about a troubling generational divide that helps to explain much of the anxiety that defined the 2016 election. Millennials have half the net worth of boomers. Their home ownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher.

Takata Agrees to Guilty Plea, Will Pay $1b for Hiding Defect

DETROIT (AP) – Takata Corp. has agreed to plead guilty to a single criminal charge and will pay $1 billion in fines and restitution for a years-long scheme to conceal a deadly defect in its automotive air bag inflators.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit announced the deal Friday, hours after it unsealed a grand jury indictment against three former Takata executives accused of executing the scheme.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force, spewing shrapnel into automobiles. At least 11 people have been killed in the U.S. and 16 worldwide because of the defect. More than 180 have been injured.

More Pay, Greater Confidence Lifts U.S. Retail Sales 0.6 Pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans stepped up their auto buying and online shopping in December, reflecting a boost in confidence after the election and a solid increase in pay.

Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent, following a small 0.2 percent gain in November, the Commerce Department said Friday. Excluding autos and gas, retail sales overall were flat.

Some economists were disappointed by that figure and said it suggested that many consumers remain cautious.

Bank of America Tops 4Q Profit Forecasts

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America’s fourth-quarter profit jumped 47 percent as the nation’s largest consumer bank benefited from higher interest rates and lower expenses.

The bank said it earned a profit of $4.34 billion after payments to preferred shareholders, or 40 cents per share, up from $2.95 billion, or 27 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. The results topped analysts’ expectations, who were looking for 38 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Like many consumer banks, BofA struggled to grow profits for the last several years due to record low interest rates. Now that the Federal Reserve has started increasing rates, BofA can charge more for loans.

JP Morgan Chase Beats Earnings Forecasts

NEW YORK (AP) – JPMorgan Chase & Co. said its fourth quarter profit rose 24 percent from a year earlier, helped by higher interest rates and strong results from its trading operations.

The nation’s largest bank by assets said it earned $6.73 billion, or $1.71 per share, compared with a profit of $5.43 billion, or $1.32 per share, in the same period a year ago. The results beat analysts’ forecast of $1.42 per share. The results included a tax benefit of $475 million.

Toyota Adds 543,000 Vehicles to Takata Air-Bag Recalls

TOKYO (AP) – Toyota Motor Corp. says it is recalling another 543,000 vehicles in the U.S. for defective front passenger air bag inflators made by Japan’s Takata Corp.

Takata is at the center of a massive recall of inflators that can explode in a crash, spewing metal shrapnel inside the vehicles.

Toyota said Friday that the recall includes various models of sedans and SUVs made between 2006 and 2012. Among those recalled are the 2008-2009 Scion xB; 2009 and 2012 Corolla and Corolla Matrix, 2007-2009 and 2012 Toyota Yaris, 2012 4Runner and Sienna and various versions of Lexus made between 2006 and 2012.