Business Briefs – August 7, 2018

Small Businesses Find Tight Job Market Makes It Hard to Hire

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even with the job market strong, hiring has slowed among one category of employers: Small businesses. Yet it isn’t because these companies are hurting. Small businesses are generally optimistic, and most say they’re enjoying healthy sales. Rather, these companies are being hamstrung by the economy’s very strength: Low unemployment has shrunk the pool of job seekers and intensified competition for workers. And in many cases, small employers are losing out to larger ones.

New U.S. Slap Against China: Tighter Curbs on Tech Investment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Already threatened by escalating U.S. taxes on its goods, China is about to find it much harder to invest in U.S. companies or to buy American technology in such cutting-edge areas as robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. President Donald Trump is expected as early as this week to sign legislation to tighten the government’s scrutiny of foreign investments and exports of sensitive technology.

Trump’s China Trade War Pulls Consumer Tech Into Crossfire

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of headphones, speakers, high-tech lighting and smartwatches could all go up if the Trump administration’s trade war with China continues. It remains unclear exactly how much prices might go up, as some of the duties on Chinese products are still pending. Some large technology companies might also absorb the extra costs to avoid price hikes.

Testing Finds Flaws With Car Electronic Car Safety Systems

DETROIT (AP) — Cars and trucks with electronic driver assist systems may not see stopped vehicles and could even steer you into a crash if you’re not paying attention, an insurance industry group warns. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in a paper titled “Reality Check,” issued the warning Tuesday after testing five of the systems from Tesla, Mercedes, BMW and Volvo on a track and public roads.

U.S. Consumer Borrowing Rose $10.2 Billion in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their borrowing in June at the slowest annual pace in three months as the level of credit card debt fell slightly. The Federal Reserve says consumer debt rose a seasonally adjusted $10.2 billion in June from the prior month to a total of $3.91 trillion. Consumer borrowing increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in June, the slowest annual gain since March.

Disney Results Fall Short of Expectations, as Fox Bid Nears

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s earnings grew in the latest quarter, but results missed expectations. The fiscal Q3 results come as Disney plans to move forward with its $71.3 billion purchase of Fox’s entertainment assets, in part to boost a Disney-branded streaming service set to launch in 2019.