Economy Briefs: Americans re-embrace Japanese cars, lifting sales
DETROIT — Just when Detroit seemed to be luring them away, Americans are embracing Japanese cars again.
Toyota and Honda lost ground last year after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami limited their supplies. But July’s U.S. sales show they’ve nearly regained what they lost, at the expense of GM and Ford.
General Motors Co. sales fell 6 percent and Ford Motor Co. sales were down 4 percent compared with last July. Honda Motor Co.’s sales were up 45 percent and Toyota Motor Corp. jumped 26 percent. Overall car and truck sales rose 9 percent to 1.15 million, according to Autodata Corp.
“Toyota and Honda have regained all of the share they lost, and much faster than we thought they would,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for the car buying site TrueCar.com.Toyota commanded 14.3 percent of the U.S. market in July, up from 12.3 percent a year ago and back to pre-earthquake levels. GM had a 17.4 percent share, which matched its pre-earthquake level and was down from 20.3 percent last July.
Private survey: Businesses added 163,000 jobs in July
A private survey shows U.S. businesses kept hiring at a modest pace in July, suggesting the job market could be improving after three sluggish months.
Payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 163,000 jobs last month. That’s slightly below a revised total of 172,000 jobs it reported for June.
The report only covers hiring in the private sector and excludes government job growth. The Labor Department will offer a more complete picture of July hiring on Friday.
The ADP survey offered some hope that hiring is picking up. But it has often deviated sharply from the government report. In June, the Labor Department said employers added just 80,000 jobs, less than half the figure reported by ADP.
The government’s report is expected to show employers added 100,000 jobs in July, according to survey of economists by FactSet. The unemployment rate is expected to stay at 8.2 percent.
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