Posted on

Recent Biz News From All Over

Business News
Business News

Americans’ credit use slowed in September

Americans slowed their borrowing in September as they cut back on the use of credit cards and auto loans amid a slowing economy.

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that consumer credit increased by a seasonally adjusted $6.5 billion in September, or 5.2 percent at an annual rate, the slowest pace since October 1999.

Consumer credit in August grew by $12.3 billion, or at a 10.1 percent rate, according to revised figures. That was less than the $13.4 billion the central bank previously estimated.

In September, demand for revolving credit, such as that carried month to month on credit cards, rose by $3.6 billion — a 6.8 percent annual rate — down sharply from $6.7 billion and a 12.6 percent rate in August.

The Fed’s report on consumer credit includes credit card debt and loans for autos, boats and mobile homes. It does not include loans backed by real estate, such as home mortgages or increasingly popular home equity loans.

Random House to split e-revenue with authors

Publishing heavyweight Random House Inc. announced Tuesday it will split revenue from electronic books evenly with authors, a change that could shape a heated industry debate over digital technology.

Random House, the largest English language publisher, said it will pay authors 50 percent of the revenues it generates from the sale of e-books, a miniscule market but one that is expected to boom in coming years. Authors currently earn 15 percent of an e-book’s list price.

Random House is the first publisher to take such a stand on a question that has divided publishers and authors.

E-books, sold as data files that can be downloaded into devices ranging from desktop computers to portable electronic readers, are much less expensive for publishers to produce and sell than printed books. Authors have argued that they should, therefore, enjoy a greater share of the profits.

By agreeing, Random House hopes to forge closer ties with authors and pave the way for greater sales of e-books, said Erik Engstrom, president and chief operating officer.

Attendants call for more action against United

Union leaders representing United Airlines’ 25,000 flight attendants plan to initiate a variety of protest and informational actions as part of their push for mid-contract pay raises.

Talks on those proposed raises broke off last Thursday and have not resumed.

The Association of Flight Attendants used an hour-long webcast Monday from Chicago to invoke the strategy the union calls CHAOS, for Create Havoc Around Our System. The webcast was broadcast to union meetings around the world and was also available for individual members to watch online.

”We deserve the treatment United has given other employees,” said Linda Farrow, the AFA’s Master Executive Council President for United, citing the recent raises given to the carrier’s pilots.

BP Amoco quarterly profit up 94 percent

BP Amoco PLC’s third-quarter net profit jumped 94 percent, due largely to higher prices for oil and gas together with thrifty spending.

The London-based company said Tuesday its quarterly pro-forma profit adjusted for one-time gains and losses was $3.80 billion, in line with most analysts’ expectations. It earned $1.96 billion in the same quarter of 1999.

Cost reductions have proceeded according to plan, with the company saying it achieved about three-fourths of the $2 billion in targeted annual savings by the end of the quarter.