Business Briefs – April 19, 2018

 

Amazon Says It Has More Than 100 Million Paid Prime Members

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon says it has more than 100 million paid Prime members, the first time the company has given out a specific number on its paid subscriber base.

CEO Jeff Bezos said in the company’s annual letter to shareholders on Wednesday that Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items with Prime worldwide. The service offers free, unlimited two-day shipping for an annual or monthly fee.

Previously, the Seattle-based company has put the number at “tens of millions,” and estimates have been as high as 90 million.

U.S. Manufacturers Seek Relief From Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported aluminum and steel are disrupting business for hundreds of American companies that buy those metals, and many are pressing for relief. A group of small- and medium-size manufacturers gathered in Washington to announce a new coalition to fight the steel tariff.

 

GOP’s Regulatory Fight Goes to Another Level Over Car Loans

WASHINGTON (AP) – The GOP-led Senate has voted to block guidance a consumer protection agency issued five years ago to help ensure minority car buyers don’t pay higher interest rates on car loans. Republicans argue that rescinding the guidance is necessary because it amounted to a backdoor attempt to regulate auto dealers by a consumer protection agency that was prohibited from regulating that industry. Democrats say that rolling back the guidance would hurt many consumers.

Fed Survey Finds Worries About Higher Tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve’s latest survey of economic conditions around the country finds growing concern among businesses about the adverse impact higher tariffs could have on their firms and the overall economy. The Fed reports that while the economic outlook remains positive, there are worries about a possible trade war.

American Express 1Q Profits Rise 31 Percent, Helped by Taxes

NEW YORK (AP) – Credit card giant American Express is reporting that it had the second-highest quarterly profit in its history last quarter, driven by strong customer spending on its namesake credit cards and a much lower tax bill. New York-based American Express earned a profit of $1.63 billion, or $1.86 a share, compared with a profit of $1.25 billion, or $1.36 a share, a year earlier. The results beat analysts’ expectations, who were looking for AmEx to report a profit of $1.70 a share.