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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 16, 2017 10:00 pm

No rate hike from Bank of England

News services

LONDON – The Bank of England kept its interest rates at record lows Thursday to avoid stalling economic growth as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.

But one person on its nine-strong rate-setting committee voted for an increase – a surprise move that shows concern about the recent surge in inflation.

The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee voted to keep its key rate at 0.25 percent, a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate. The vote was 8-1, with rate-setter Kristin Forbes voting for a rise to 0.5 percent.

Her unhappiness was evident in minutes released along with the decision. The document pointed out that "one member" argued that inflation was rising fast and "likely to remain above target for at least three years."

Hyundai recalls 978,000 cars in US

Hyundai is recalling nearly 978,000 cars in the U.S. because the front seat belts could detach in a crash and fail to hold people.

The recall covers Sonata midsize sedans from the 2011 through 2014 model years, and the Sonata hybrid from 2011 through 2015.

Hyundai says in government documents that a fastener for a seat belt anchor may not have been fully latched during assembly. If that happens the belts can detach. The trouble was discovered in September when an owner reported that the front passenger belt in a 2013 Sonata came loose in a collision.

Owners will be notified starting April 7.

SpaceX launches satellite into orbit

SpaceX has launched a communications satellite into orbit after a two-day delay.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an EchoStar satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 2 a.m. Thursday. The satellite was deployed into orbit high above Earth about 35 minutes later.

The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was pushed back due to high winds.

This was the second SpaceX launch from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. Last month’s space station resupply launch was the first from the pad since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. The pad was used to send Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in 1969.

Jobless applications down last week

Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a further indication of the health of the labor market.

Applications for jobless benefits slipped by 2,000 to 241,000 after claims had risen by 20,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Two weeks ago claims had fallen to a 44-year low of 223,000. The four-week average, which is less volatile, rose by 750 last week to 237,250.

Overall, 2.03 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, 8.2 percent lower than a year ago.

Job openings grow 1.6% in January

Employers posted more open positions in January compared with December and the number of Americans quitting jumped, trends that could push up wages.

Job openings rose 1.6 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted 5.6 million, the Labor Department said Thursday . While healthy, openings have fallen 1.5 percent year over year.

More than 3.2 million people quit their jobs in January, the most in nearly 16 years.