Business Briefs – September 7, 2016

Britain’s Economy Is Stable — And People Are Surprised

LONDON (AP) – Fear of an economic meltdown was the biggest weapon in the campaign to stop Britain from leaving the European Union.

Economic and financial experts in the City of London, which has a lot to lose from an EU exit, warned that a decision to leave would hit business so hard as to put the country in or close to recession this year.

Ten weeks after the vote, though, some say the fearmongering was overdone. Though the pound has fallen to a 30-year low, as predicted, people continue to spend and activity in manufacturing and services rebounded last month from a sharp contraction in July. House prices have held up.

U.S. Growth Weakened Slightly This Summer, Fed Report Shows

WASHINGTON (AP) – The economy grew at a moderate or modest pace this summer in eight of the Federal Reserve’s 12 U.S. districts, a slowdown from previous reports that may make Fed policymakers more cautious about an interest rate hike.

The Fed’s “Beige Book” survey of business conditions, released Wednesday, found that growth weakened in two districts — Philadelphia and Richmond. The economy was unchanged in New York and Kansas City. In its last report in July, growth was modest or moderate in 11 of 12 districts.

The report comes after Friday’s jobs figures showed that hiring slowed in August to half the pace seen in June and July. And a business survey found that manufacturing activity actually shrank last month. Such readings may darken the outlook for many Fed officials.

U.S. Job Openings Jump to Record High in Mixed Signal to Fed

WASHINGTON (AP) – American employers advertised a record number of open jobs in July, a sign hiring may stay healthy despite a slowdown last month.

Job openings jumped 4 percent to 5.87 million, the Labor Department said Wednesday, slightly above the previous peak reached in April. The data dates back to December 2000.

HP Enterprise Spins Off Software Businesses in $8.8b Deal

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. will spin off software units in an $8.8 billion deal that it says will help it focus on faster-growing businesses.

The Palo Alto, California, company said Wednesday that the spun-off software businesses — they include big data, security for big companies and IT operations management units — will merge with U.K. software company Micro Focus International PLC.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise will get a $2.5 billion cash payment and its shareholders will hold a 50.1 percent stake in the new combined company.

Delta and Korean Air Rekindle A Partnership Grown Frosty

NEW YORK (AP) – Delta Air Lines and Korean Air are taking steps to mend a chilly relationship, announcing an expansion of their partnership Wednesday where each airline can sell tickets on some of each other’s flights.

Delta will also launch a new non-stop flight from its hometown of Atlanta to Seoul Incheon International Airport in June.

The two carriers were founding members of the SkyTeam alliance in 2000. But that relationship started to fray after Delta reportedly pushed for — and Korean rejected — a joint venture agreement across the Pacific Ocean.