Business Briefs – January 28, 2018

U.S. Economy Grew at a Solid 2.6 Percent Rate in Fourth Quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) – Strong consumer spending and a big rebound in home construction helped the economy grow at a solid pace of 2.6 percent in the final three months of last year. It followed gains of a little more than 3 percent in the second and third quarters. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tells CNBC that the modest slowdown is just a short-term aberration. The fourth-quarter growth was spurred by a 3.8 percent surge in spending by consumers. Business investment in new plants and equipment was also strong.

U.S. Trade Court Rules Against Boeing in Dispute With Canada

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. International Trade Commission delivered a defeat to Boeing, ruling that the aircraft manufacturing giant has not been harmed by competition from Canada’s Bombardier. The unanimous decision effectively blocks the Commerce Department’s plans to slap 292 percent tariffs on Bombardier. The department ruled last year that the Canadian firm had unfairly received government subsidies and sold its C series planes at artificially low prices in the United States. The trade panel disagreed.

Relations Between Trump, Global Elites Seem to Thaw at Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) – The relationship between President Donald Trump and the global elites assembled in Davos seemed to thaw during the nationalist president’s appearance at the World Economic Forum. Critics had speculated that the president would function as a protectionist bull in the free-trade-loving china shop. While there were scattered protests, the president’s visit also brought him praise from allies, a reception in his honor and a fawning dinner with European business executives.

U.S. Government Forecasts Tourism Growth Despite Recent Slump

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Department of Commerce is forecasting an 18.5 percent growth in international tourism to the U.S. through 2022 despite a slump in international visitation in the last two years. The department released a report on Friday. A chart from the department’s National Travel and Tourism Office forecasts growth every year through 2022, with projections up from 75.1 million international visitors last year to 89 million in 2022.

Outdoor Gear Sales Slip As Millennials Drive Shift in Habits

DENVER (AP) – Analysts say sales of outdoor equipment are slipping as millennials drive changes in U.S. consumer habits, buying goods that are less specialized and more versatile. NPD Group, a market research company, says millennials are less likely to demand outdoor gear that stands up to extreme conditions. It comes as manufacturers and buyers gather in Denver this weekend for the Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show.