Business Briefs – September 25, 2019

Workers, Car Owners, Dealers And GM Feel Pinch From Strike

DETROIT (AP) – As the United Auto Workers’ strike against General Motors stretches into a second week, it’s not just the company and striking workers getting pinched.

With many replacement part warehouses shut down, dealers are beginning to run short of components to repair cars, trucks and SUVs. And companies that make auto parts are also starting to see work slowdown. Dealer inventory of new vehicles is holding up but starting to get depleted on a few models.

Meanwhile, GM is losing millions of dollars and has been forced to close one Canadian factory and send workers home at another. The 49,000 striking workers are going to have to get by on $250 per week in strike pay.

This doesn’t even include the restaurants and other businesses around the more than 30 U.S. factories that have been closed due to the strike.

U.S. New Home Sales Climbed A Healthy 7.1% in August

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. new home sales jumped 7.1% in August, as low mortgage rates pull buyers into the housing market.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new homes sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 713,000, up from a revised 666,000 in July. So far this year, sales have risen a healthy 6.4%.

Trade tensions and slower economic growth have pushed down interest rates, helping homebuyers for the moment. But new construction has yet to meet the demand from likely buyers, so the sales gains could translate into higher prices.

Trump: U.S., Japan Agree on 1st Stage of New Trade Agreement

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The U.S. and Japan on Wednesday signed a limited trade deal that will eliminate tariffs and expand market access on farm, industrial and digital products. But the deal does not address autos, a key sticking point during months of contentious negotiations, and President Donald Trump indicated the two countries were still working on a broader agreement.

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the deal on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Trump called it the “first stage of a phenomenal new trade agreement” and described it as “outlining the significant steps we’re taking toward a fair and reciprocal trade agreement.”