Business Briefs – July 26, 2016

$15 Billion Volkswagen Emissions Deal Clears 1st Hurdle

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A nearly $15 billion settlement over Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal cleared a key hurdle Tuesday, with a federal judge giving preliminary approval to the deal.

The German carmaker has agreed to spend up to $10 billion buying back or repairing about 475,000 Volkswagens and Audi vehicles with 2-liter diesel engines and paying their owners an additional $5,100 to $10,000 each. It also includes $2.7 billion for unspecified environmental mitigation and an additional $2 billion to promote zero-emissions vehicles.

The judge’s decision allows attorneys to notify vehicle owners of the terms and consumers to use a settlement website to determine their amount of compensation.

Survey: American Consumers’ Confidence Remains Steady

WASHINGTON (AP) – American consumers are confident about current economic conditions but are a bit warier about the future.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index was essentially unchanged in July, dipping to 97.3 from a revised 97.4 in June.

The survey was the first to measure consumers’ mood since Britain voted June 23 to leave the European Union. That so-called Brexit vote rattled financial markets but doesn’t appear to have bothered American consumers much.

U.S. New-Home Sales Climbed in June to More Than 8-Year High

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans bought new homes in June at the fastest pace in more than eight years, a sign that a solid job market and low mortgage rates are bolstering the U.S. housing market.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that new-home sales rose 3.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 592,000.