Business Briefs – January 9, 2017

Second VW Employee Arrested Over Emissions Scheme

DETROIT (AP) – The Volkswagen executive who once was in charge of complying with U.S. emissions regulations was arrested and accused of deceiving federal regulators about the use of special software that cheated on emissions tests.

Oliver Schmidt, who was general manager of the engineering and environmental office for VW of America, was charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and wire fraud.

Schmidt, a resident of Germany, is the second VW employee to be arrested as part of an ongoing federal investigation into the VW emissions scandal.


Takeda Pharmaceutical to Buy Ariad in $4.7 Billion Cash Deal

NEW YORK (AP) – Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical has agreed to buy U.S. cancer drug developer Ariad Pharmaceuticals in a $4.7 billion deal.

Takeda will pay $24 in cash for each Ariad share, a premium of nearly 75 percent to the stock’s $13.74 closing price Friday. Ariad said Monday the deal still needs regulatory approval.

The companies expect to close the deal by the end of February.

Credit Card Spending Jumped in November

WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumers increased their borrowing in November at the fastest pace in three months.

Total borrowing in November climbed $24.5 billion, compared to a smaller $16.2 billion in October, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. The increase pushed total debt to a fresh record of $3.75 trillion.

The acceleration reflected a big jump in the category that covers credit card debt, which rose $11 billion, compared to a much smaller $2.4 billion increase in October. It was the largest monthly advance since March and was a good sign at the start of the year-end shopping season.

Parents, Save Up: Cost of Raising A Child is More Than $233K

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Department of Agriculture says the estimated cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610, or as much as almost $14,000 annually. That’s the average for a middle-income couple with two children. It’s a bit more expensive in urban parts of the country, and less so in rural areas.

The estimate released Monday is based on 2015 numbers, so a baby born this year is likely to cost even more. It’s a 3 percent increase from the prior year, a hike higher than inflation.


Chevy Bolt Gets Top Car Award; Pacifica Top Utility Vehicle

DETROIT (AP) – The Chevy Bolt has been named top car in North America, an important milestone for a car General Motors hopes will finally get Americans hooked on electric vehicles.

The Honda Ridgeline grabbed the honor for top truck. Utility vehicles were honored separately for the first time, with the Pacifica minivan from Fiat Chrysler snagging that award.

The honors were announced Monday morning at Detroit’s Cobo Center as the North American International Auto Show’s press preview days kicked into high gear.