comscore Business Briefs | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Briefs | Business

Business Briefs

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

Fed stands pat on short-term interest rates

WASHINGTON » The Federal Reserve sketched a mildly brighter view of the economy Tuesday after a burst of hiring since its last meeting in January. It took no further steps to aid the recovery and repeated its plan to keep short-term interest rates near zero through 2014.

After a one-day policy meeting, the Fed said unemployment should continue to decline gradually as the economy expands. It also noted that consumer spending and business investment have picked up.

The Fed also took a more hopeful view of Europe’s debt crisis. Though the crisis still threatens the global economy, the danger has eased, the Fed said.

Group sees rise in computer tablet sales

NEW YORK » Research group IDC increased its forecast for tablet computer shipments this year after 2011 ended stronger than it had anticipated.

IDC said Tuesday that it now expects worldwide shipments of 106 million in 2012, up from the previous forecast of nearly 88 million. The new figure represents 54 percent growth from nearly 69 million shipments in 2011.

The November introduction of Inc.’s low-cost Kindle Fire, which runs a modified version of Google’s Android operating system, helped 2011 growth, IDC said.

15 U.S. banks clear Fed test; 4 others fail

WASHINGTON » Four major U.S. banks failed to show they have enough capital to survive another serious downturn, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. The list included Citi­group, the nation’s third-largest bank.

The Fed said 15 of the 19 major banks that it tested passed. The Fed noted that all 19 are in a much stronger position than immediately after the 2008 financial crisis.

But SunTrust, Ally Financial and MetLife joined Citi in failing the test’s minimum capital requirements.

The Fed reviewed the banks’ balance sheets to determine whether they could withstand a potential crisis that sends unemployment to 13 percent, causes stock prices to fall by half and lowers home prices 21 percent from today’s levels.

Consumers spend more as economy heals

WASHINGTON » Americans stepped up spending on retail goods in February, evidence that a stronger job market is boosting the economy.

Consumers bought more vehicles, clothes and appliances. They also paid higher prices for gas.

Retail sales increased 1.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. It was the biggest gain since September. The government also revised upward the sales figures for the previous two months.

Some economists noted that the February increase and the revisions could lead to faster economic growth.

Job openings dipped to 3.46M in January

WASHINGTON » The number of U.S. jobs openings fell in January from a 3 1/2-year high reached the month before. The modest decline suggests hiring could continue at its healthy pace but might not accelerate.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers posted 3.46 million job openings in January. That’s down from 3.54 million advertised in December, the most since August 2008. The department also revised data back to January 2007.

The figures follow a government report Friday that showed the economy added 227,000 net jobs in February. It was the third straight month of strong job gains.

JPMorgan to increase stock dividend

NEW YORK » JPMorgan Chase says it is increasing its quarterly stock dividend to 30 cents per share from 25 cents.

The bank says the increase was authorized by the Federal Reserve, which recently conducted a stress test on the 19 largest financial institutions.

JPMorgan, the largest bank in the nation by assets, said Tuesday that the Fed also authorized it to buy back $15 billion of its own stock by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

Asian air shipments seen rising 8 percent

Asian air cargo volumes are set to rebound this year from the worst slide since the global financial crisis as a strengthening U.S. economy and demand for products such as Apple Inc.’s new iPad revive exports.

The region’s air freight may rise as much as 8 percent in 2012, faster than any other part of the world, according to estimates by Boeing Co., the largest U.S. aircraft maker. Shares in Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and Korean Air Lines Co. stand to benefit from a cargo recovery, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.


Hawaii National Bank has announced the following two promotions:

» Martin Tadlas to assistant vice president and manager of Kailua Branch. He has 15 years of experience in business banking, consumer lending and branch management, and was previously a bank’s relationship banking officer.

» Clarence Rega­lado to loan officer at the bank’s Airport Branch. He joined the bank in 2010 and has several years’ experience in the financial services industry.

Mobi PCS has named Mark Woel­fel director of financial planning and analysis. He was previously the chief financial officer for the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation, which is a Native American tribe in California that owns a casino, hotels and other investments. Woel­fel’s other experience includes holding financial positions at software companies OrderFusion and Accelrys.

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up