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The Journal Gazette

Friday, January 11, 2019 1:00 am


Patience preached by Powell

News services

WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that the central bank has the ability to be “patient” in determining when to hike interest rates.

Speaking to an audience in Washington, Powell delivered the same reassuring message of restraint and flexibility that bolstered markets last Friday.

In his remarks before the Economic Club of Washington, Powell described the economy as strong at the end of last year, with the lowest unemployment levels in a half-century and solid gains in wages.

But Powell also said there are concerns in financial markets about slowing global growth and rising trade tensions.

Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.6 million air bags

Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 1.6 million vehicles worldwide to replace Takata front passenger air bag inflators that can be dangerous.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have died from the problem worldwide and hundreds injured.

The recalled vehicles:

• 2010-16 Jeep Wrangler SUV

• 2010 Ram 3500 pickup and 4500/5500 Chassis Cab trucks

• 2010-11 Dodge Dakota pickup

• 2010-14 Dodge Challenger muscle car

• 2011-15 Dodge Charger sedan

• 2010-15 Chrysler 300 sedan.

It's part of the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history. About 10 million inflators are being recalled this year.

American Airlines' profits miss forecast

American Airlines says fourth-quarter revenue and full-year profit will be lighter than expected. American's stock fell 10.9 percent before partly recovering.

American said Thursday that revenue for each seat flown one mile, a measure of pricing power, will rise about 1.5 percent over the previous fourth quarter. That's about 1 percentage point less than had been forecast.

Added to recent comments by Delta, American's report raises concern among investors.

30-year rates lowest in nine months

U.S. long-term mortgage rates continued to fall this week, reaching their lowest levels in nine months.

The recent decline has been a spur to prospective homebuyers, reflected in a spike in applications for mortgages. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 4.45 percent this week from 4.51 percent last week. The key 30-year rate averaged 3.99 percent a year ago.

The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate loans fell to 3.89 percent from 3.99 percent last week.

Frontier, pilots reach deal after 3 years

Frontier Airlines pilots have approved a new contract after nearly three years of negotiations.

The Air Line Pilots Association said 77 percent of pilots for the Denver discount carrier backed the deal in a vote that ended Thursday. The union says the new contract, which will take effect Wednesday, will provide an average 53 percent pay raise.

Frontier pilots have been working under a contract changed in 2011 to keep the airline out of bankruptcy. Negotiations began in March 2016 and soon turned into mediation overseen by federal officials.