Commissioner Karel de Gucht told reporters after a meeting of the 27-nation bloc's trade ministers in Dublin that the talks with Washington should be concluded by October 2014, when the term of the European Commission ends and a month before U.S. holds midterm elections.
New car sales across Europe slid 10 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 2.9 million, down from 3.3 million in 2012, the European automakers association ACEA reported from Brussels on Wednesday. Even in Germany, one of Europe's strongest economies, new car sales plunged 13 percent during the first three months of the year.
A measure of the U.S. economy's health over the next six months declined slightly in March from February, a sign that growth may slow this spring. The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators dipped 0.1 percent in March to 94.7. That's the first decline after three months of gains.
Swiss food and drinks giant Nestle SA notched a gain of 2.3 percent in first-quarter sales and confirmed Thursday it was on track for another year of steady growth, despite economic problems in a number of its key markets in the developed world.
A strengthening housing recovery and robust auto sales contributed to moderate growth across the United States in late February and March, according to a Federal Reserve survey. All of the Fed's 12 banking districts grew moderately and growth accelerated in two districts — New York and Dallas — from January and early February.
Legislation giving the Boeing Co. $120 million in incentives for their expansion plans in South Carolina is one vote away from reaching the governor's desk. The House voted 115-2 Wednesday to approve the bill. Another vote would send it to Gov. Nikki Haley, who is sure to sign it. The Senate approved the measure last week.
Shares of Apple Inc. are setting a one-year low after news from a supplier hinted at a slowdown in iPhone and iPad production. The stock is down $18.48, or 4.3 percent, at $407.76. The shares hit $403.67 earlier, the lowest level since Dec. 2011.
The Justice Department said Amgen paid kickbacks to Omnicare Inc. and PharMerica Corp., which sell drugs to long-term care providers like nursing homes and hospitals, and Kindred Healthcare Inc., which runs long-term acute care hospitals and nursing and rehabilitation centers.
LDK Solar Co. said Tuesday that it failed to make a $23.8 million bond payment this week because of a "temporary cash-flow shortage" but negotiated to delay some of the obligation. Payment on the 4.75 percent convertible notes was due Monday. LDK said it agreed with two bondholders to delay $16.6 million in payments.
Toyota's global sales of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles have surpassed 5 million in a milestone for a technology that was initially greeted with skepticism. The Japanese automaker, which said Wednesday it had sold 5.125 million hybrid vehicles as of the end of March, started selling the Prius, the world's first mass produced hybrid passenger car, in 1997.
Automaker Daimler AG says it is selling its remaining 7.5 percent stake in EADS, the parent company of aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Daimler helped found EADS but now is cashing out to focus on its core business of making cars. It sold a 7.5 percent stake last year.
The federal prosecutors' office says in a statement that prosecutors in the Amazon jungle states of Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Rondoni, want the companies to pay $278.5 million for producing beef products from cattle raised in environmentally sensitive regions, on indigenous reservations and at farms that have been blacklisted for using slave-like labor.
Arkansas is set to provide a new steel company with $125 million in financing and a package of tax breaks to build a mill in the northeast part of the state after the Legislature gave final approval to the plan on Tuesday. By an 81-9 vote, House lawmakers passed a Senate-approved budget bill to fund Gov. Mike Beebe's proposal.
U.S. industrial output rose in March as cold weather kept utilities busy generating heat and a surge in auto production helped offset broader weakness in manufacturing. Production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose 0.4 percent in March from February, the Federal Reserve said.
According to PwC’s Q1 2013 Manufacturing Barometer, 55 percent of respondents expressed optimism about the 12-month outlook for the U.S. economy during the first quarter of 2013, up seven points from the fourth quarter, and only five percent were pessimistic.
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its outlook for the world economy this year, predicting that government spending cuts will slow U.S. growth and keep the euro currency alliance in recession. The global lending organization has cut its forecast for global growth to 3.3 percent this year.
General Motors edged out fast-growing Volkswagen in first-quarter sales as both companies try to close the gap with Toyota for the global world sales crown. Toyota, which is scheduled to release first-quarter numbers next week, dethroned GM to retake the top spot in 2012.
U.S. consumer prices declined last month as the cost of gas fell sharply and food prices were unchanged. The tame reading is the latest evidence that the sluggish economy is keeping inflation in check. The consumer price index declined a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in March, after jumping 0.7 percent in February, the Labor Department said.
Coca-Cola Co.'s first-quarter results came in above expectations as the world's biggest beverage maker saw global sales volume grow. The Atlanta-based company says it earned $1.75 billion, or 39 cents per share, for the period ended March 29. That's down from $2.1 billion, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.
The nation's top cigarette companies have made their payments as part of the longstanding settlement in which some cigarette makers are paying states for smoking-related health care costs. Philip Morris USA said it made its full annual payment of about $3.1 billion as part of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.
A securities trader has pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme involving the unauthorized purchase of about $1 billion of Apple stock that wound up costing his employer $5 million. Federal prosecutors say 40-year-old David Miller pleaded guilty Monday in Hartford to conspiracy and fraud offenses.
A meat processing plant and wholesaler suspected of mixing undeclared horse meat with beef has been declared bankrupt. A court in the eastern Dutch city of Den Bosch court declared the Willy Selten meat works bankrupt Tuesday. The company is at the center of a huge recall announced last week of suspect beef across the European Union.
After China reported quarterly economic growth of 7.7 percent this week — far above anemic U.S. and European performance — global markets reacted by falling, wiping billions of dollars off stock prices. The reason? Growth came in under the 8 percent expected by private sector forecasters who relied on Chinese trade and other data.
The Obama administration on Friday declined to label China a currency manipulator, although it said that China's currency remains significantly undervalued. The decision came in a twice-a-year Treasury report on whether any nations are manipulating their currencies to gain trade advantages.
European aerospace giant EADS says in a statement Monday that the deal would see it buy back 1.56 percent of its shares from the French government's current 14.83 percent stake. The company will pay 37.35 euros per share — about the same as French media group Lagardere was paid when it sold its entire stake last week.