Business Briefs – December 22, 2016

Consumer Spending Growth Weakened in November

WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumers slowed the growth in their spending in November and income growth was flat, two worrisome signs at the start of the shopping season.

Consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in November, the weakest showing since a 0.1 percent rise in August, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

So far, spending in the year-end shopping season has not been as strong as last year. That has prompted some stores to offer better deals and incentives such as free shipping.

Ikea Reaches $50M Settlement in Toddler Deaths From Dressers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Lawyers for three families say Ikea is agreeing to pay $50 million because toddlers died when the company’s dressers tipped over on them.

The Swedish home furnishings retailer has recalled millions of chests and dressers because of concerns the furniture can tip over when the drawers are opened. The families’ lawyers say Ikea will also make donations to children’s hospitals.

Johanna Iritz, a spokeswoman for Ikea in Sweden, said Thursday “it would be inappropriate to comment,” adding the settlement was pending a U.S. court approval.

Airbus Secures Iran Air Deal With List Price of $18 Billion

PARIS (AP) – Airbus and Iran Air finalized Thursday a deal for 100 planes worth more than $18 billion dollars at list prices — a contract that’s potentially a big boost for Iran’s post-sanctions economy.

Under the terms of the deal, which was initially announced in January, Airbus said deliveries are expected to begin early next year.

The contract includes single-aisle A320 and A330 jets and wide-body A350 XWB planes.

China Says It Will Cooperate With Trump But Warns on Taiwan

BEIJING (AP) – China warned Thursday that ties with the U.S. will likely see new complications and the only way to maintain a stable relationship is by respecting each other’s “core interests.”

Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s remarks appeared to underscore that China’s position on Taiwan is non-negotiable, weeks after President-elect Donald Trump suggested he could re-evaluate U.S. policy on Taiwan. It also mirrored Beijing’s relatively measured posture toward the incoming U.S. administration despite signs of growing wariness.

Wang told the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, that China will strive to boost cooperation with the U.S. but he foresaw “new, complicated and uncertain factors affecting bilateral relations” under the Trump administration.