Business highlights for Feb. 4

Business highlights for Feb. 4
Published: February 3, 2014
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Business briefs

Cars could become safer

Your car might see a crash coming even if you don’t, the government says, indicating it will require automakers to equip new vehicles with technology that lets cars warn each other if they’re plunging toward peril. The action, still some years off, has “game-changing potential” to cut collisions, deaths and injuries, federal transportation officials said Monday. A radio signal would transmit a vehicle’s position, heading, speed and other information. Cars and light trucks would receive the same information back from other cars, and a vehicle’s computer would alert its driver to an impending collision.

Tech firms reveal spying

Major technology firms released new data Monday on how often they are ordered to turn over customer information for national security investigations — figures that show the government collected data on thousands of Americans. The details provided expanded details from 2012 and 2013 showing how often the government has sought information on the firms’ customers in counter-terrorism and other intelligence-related probes.

Emerging markets are hit

From Turkey to South Africa to Argentina, emerging markets are being slammed by rising inflation, economic mismanagement and political turmoil. Overhanging it all is an unknown: Whether developing countries as a group can withstand the end of the extraordinary easy-money policies central banks have offered up for five years. Many economists say they’re optimistic that the troubles in emerging markets won’t infect the global economy as a whole. They note that the biggest threats in the developing world are confined to modest-size economies that seem unlikely to do much damage beyond their borders.

Auto recalls reach high

Automakers recalled 21.9 million cars and trucks in the U.S. last year, a nine-year high. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says automakers initiated 632 separate vehicle recalls in 2013, up 9 percent from the prior year. Companies are saving money by using more common parts. But that can force them to recall more vehicles.

Associated Press