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Business Digest: Toyota adds 543,000 vehicles to air bag recall


AUTOMAKERS

Toyota adds 543,000 vehicles to air bag recall

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. says it is recalling another 543,000 vehicles in the U.S. for defective front passenger air bag inflators made by Japan’s Takata Corp.

Takata is at the center of a massive recall of inflators that can explode in a crash, spewing metal shrapnel inside the vehicles.

Toyota said Friday that the recall includes various models of sedans and SUVs made between 2006-2012. Among those recalled are the 2008-2009 Scion xB; 2009 and 2012 Corolla and Corolla Matrix, 2007-2009 and 2012 Toyota Yaris, 2012 4Runner and Sienna and various versions of Lexus made between 2006-2012.

Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to cause a small explosion designed to inflate the air bags in a crash. At least 16 people have been killed worldwide and about 180 have been injured.

More than 100 million vehicles involving 17 automakers have been recalled worldwide, including 69 million in the U.S. alone, underscoring the scale of the crisis. Because of the scope of the recalls, the replacements are going to take years.

BANKING

JP Morgan Chase beats earnings forecasts

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said its fourth quarter profit rose 24 percent from a year earlier, helped by higher interest rates and strong results from its trading operations.

The nation’s largest bank by assets said it earned $6.73 billion, or $1.71 per share, compared with a profit of $5.43 billion, or $1.32 per share, in the same period a year ago. The results beat analysts’ forecast of $1.42 per share. The results included a tax benefit of $475 million.

Like most of Wall Street, JPMorgan benefited heavily from the stock market’s rally after the U.S. presidential election.

Overall revenue was $26.09 billion in the period. JPMorgan’s adjusted revenue was $23.38 billion, which also beat Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $23.24 billion.

BANKING

Bank of America tops profit forecasts

Bank of America’s fourth-quarter profit jumped 47 percent from a year ago as the nation’s largest consumer bank benefited from higher interest rates and lower expenses.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said it earned a profit of $4.34 billion after payments to preferred shareholders, or 40 cents per share, up from $2.95 billion, or 27 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. The results topped analysts’ expectations, who were looking for 38 cents per share, according to FactSet.

In BofA’s consumer banking division, the bank’s largest business by profit and revenue, had net income of $1.92 billion in the quarter, compared with $1.74 billion in the same period a year earlier. The business had been helped by higher interest rates, as net interest income rose from $5.23 billion to $5.47 billion year over year.

The nation’s second-largest bank posted adjusted revenue was $19.99 billion, which missed Street forecasts. Analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $20.62 billion.

ECONOMY

U.S. wholesale prices rise 0.3 percent

WASHINGTON — U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.3 percent in December, led higher by more expensive gas, food and cars.

The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach consumers, increased 1.6 percent last year, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s the biggest 12-month gain since September 2014. Still, it is low historically and suggests inflation is largely in check.

December’s gain was led by a big climb in wholesale gas prices, which rose 7.8 percent. Food prices increased 0.7 percent, with chicken eggs, a volatile category, jumping 69.3 percent. Fresh fruits and melons, which soared last month, declined by the most in more than six years.

Prices at the pump rose in December. They averaged $2.35 a gallon nationwide Thursday, 14 cents higher than a month ago.



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