Business Briefs – January 10, 2017

Despite Scandal, VW in Running For Global Sales Crown

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — It’s ironic: Volkswagen spent 2016 battling a huge emissions scandal and now it stands a decent chance to win the title of world’s biggest carmaker for the year.

Booming business in China helped Volkswagen increase its sales to 10.31 million vehicles last year across all its brands, which include Audi, Porsche and Skoda, the company said Tuesday.

That was an increase of 3.8 percent over 2015, when Volkswagen came in second to Toyota.

And a strong finish to the year in December — 11.8 percent better than the same month the year before — improves the company’s chances of moving from No. 2 to No. 1 in global sales.

Johnson & Johnson to Reveal Average Drug Price Increases

NEW YORK (AP) – Johnson & Johnson plans next month to disclose average price increases of its prescription drugs, as the industry tries to calm the storm over soaring prices.

The health-care giant will divulge its 2016 average increases in list price and net price, or what middlemen such as insurers and distributors pay J&J after discounts and rebates.

Analysts say that will help J&J’s image more than patients initially, but could push other drugmakers to tame future price increases and be more transparent.

World Bank Forecasting Brighter Prospects for 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Bank is forecasting the global economy will accelerate slightly in 2017 after turning in the worst performance last year since the 2008 financial crisis.

The 189-nation lending agency says that the global growth should expand at a 2.7 percent annual rate this year.

That is down from the bank’s June forecast for 2.8 percent growth this year, but it’s better than last year’s 2.3 percent growth.

The global economy faced a number of headwinds last year, from economic troubles in China to bouts of financial market turmoil.

Wells Fargo Overhauls Pay Plan For Bank Branch Employees

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo announced a complete restructuring Tuesday of how it pays tellers and other bank branch employees, as the company tries to right itself after a scandal over its aggressive sales practices.

The long-anticipated plan has been considered a high priority for CEO Tim Sloan and Mary Mack, the heads of Wells Fargo’s community bank division — both of whom took those jobs after the scandal emerged.

Wells Fargo’s front-line bank employees will no longer be given incentives for how many new accounts they open or for meeting sales goals.

They will instead receive part of their overall salary based on how the products they sell are used.