Consumers increased their borrowing in December at the slowest pace in six months, as growth in credit card usage decelerated sharply.
Total borrowing rose $14.2 billion in December vs. November’s increase of $25.2 billion, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday. Borrowing in the category that covers vehicle purchases and student loans rose by $11.8 billion, below the $13.4 billion jump in November.
But borrowing in the category that covers credit cards slowed to a gain of just $2.4 billion after a surge of $11.8 billion in November. It was the weakest showing since credit card debt fell last February.
The December increase pushed total borrowing to a record of $3.76 trillion.
Economists think growth in consumer credit will remain strong in 2017, reflecting low unemployment and further solid gains in employment and consumer confidence.
— Associated Press
Teva Pharmaceutical was left without a permanent chief executive Tuesday when Erez Vigodman stepped down, leaving new management to restore confidence in the world’s biggest generic drugmaker after a series of missteps.
Teva, Israel’s largest company, said late Monday that Vigodman was departing immediately and would be replaced on an interim basis by Chairman Yitzhak Peterburg.
Investors say Teva, which faces pricing pressure in its core generics business and lost patent protection on key branded drug Copaxone, which is used for multiple sclerosis, needs a CEO with extensive pharmaceutical experience.
Teva’s bad run continued Tuesday, when the company said it was being investigated in Israel concerning issues that led to a $519 million U.S. settlement in December over allegations that it bribed overseas officials to gain business.
● General Motors on Tuesday posted record annual profit and said it sees more growth ahead. GM expects to match or exceed last year’s results in large part because lucrative sport utility vehicles keep selling strongly in North America, where its adjusted profit margin slipped to 8.4 percent in the fourth quarter from 10 percent a year earlier. Cost reductions helped carry GM to fourth-quarter net income of $1.8 billion, in line with analyst estimates. Revenue climbed almost 11 percent to $43.9 billion. Adjusted earnings rose to $1.28 a share.
● Uber Technologies offered to guarantee revenue for its most financially strained French drivers, temporarily averting a law that would force a minimum wage for all chauffeurs. Uber proposed a $22.50-an-hour minimum gross revenue for cabbies working at least 40 hours a week, said Jacques Rapoport, a mediator in talks with unions. France appointed a mediator last year to coordinate talks between Uber and drivers threatening to block the roads of Paris if they were not paid more.
● Alphabet’s YouTube is rolling out live streaming from mobile devices for users with more than 10,000 subscribers. YouTube said in a blog post Tuesday that it would offer the feature to other contributors soon. The live videos will have all the same features as regular YouTube videos. They can be searched for, found via playlists, and protected from unauthorized use, YouTube said.
● Walt Disney Co. reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, a result tied to a drop in advertising revenue at ESPN. The unexpected fall in revenue overshadowed Disney’s profit beating Wall Street expectations and sent the company’s shares down 2.2 percent to $106.61 after the bell Tuesday. Total revenue decreased to $14.78 billion in the first quarter ended Dec. 31 from $15.24 billion a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected revenue to rise slightly to $15.26 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
● Demand for American whiskeys is growing. The Distilled Spirits Council said Tuesday that combined U.S. revenues for bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey shot up 7.7 percent to $3.1 billion in 2016. Export volumes reportedly rose 10 percent, but revenues fell short of $1 billion for the first time in recent years as the strong dollar led more consumers to choose less-expensive whiskeys.
● Volkswagen has formed a subsidiary to manage the $2 billion it is required by the Environmental Protection Agency to spend over the next decade in support of zero-emission vehicles in the United States. The company, Electrify America, will invest in construction and maintenance of charging stations for electric vehicles. It will also install more than 300 chargers in 15 U.S. metropolitan areas and fund “brand-neutral” advertising to promote awareness about electric cars, along with other activities, the company said Tuesday.
— From news services