President Barack Obama says he is confident the nation will not suffer the “double dip” of back-to-back recessions. The rebound of the U.S. economy appears to be slowing, prompting fears that the nation will slide into recession again after a brief period of growth. Obama told a CNBC interviewer he was confident that won’t happen. He acknowledged that much work remains on problems such as long-term unemployment. But the president expressed confidence that the economy is moving in the right direction. U.S. economic growth slowed to 2.4 percent from April to May, down from 3.7 percent in the first three months of the year.
Apple to patch iPhone, iPad, iPod security
Apple is planning to release a fix for a security hole in the software that runs on its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. Hackers could gain access to data stored on Apple Inc.’s gadgets by putting a PDF file with hidden code onto a website and luring people to visit the site. Apple did not say when the software update will be available. The flaw drew attention after it was used for a program that lets people “jailbreak” iPhones in order to run programs Apple hasn’t approved for sale in its iTunes store. The company declined to say Thursday whether it knows of malicious hackers exploiting the flaw.
U.S. Postal Service $3.5 billion in the red
The Postal Service was $3.5 billion in the red for the third quarter and may not be able to make a required payment for future retiree health benefits, the agency said Thursday. Losses for the April through June quarter were $1.1 billion more than the post office lost in the same period a year ago. The post office has been rocked by declining mail volume as people and businesses continue switching to the Internet in place of letters and paper bills. “Given current trends, we will not be able to pay all 2011 obligations,” Joseph R. Corbett, the Postal Service’s chief financial officer, said in a statement.
GM CEO expects good demand for its stock
Demand for General Motors Co. stock should be good once the company decides to offer shares to the public, CEO Ed Whitacre said Thursday. The company, he said, is moving as fast as it can to offer the shares for sale, but Whitacre would not comment on the timing other than to say as soon as possible. Whitacre also said the shares likely would be sold to the public all at once. Some experts had expected GM to sell only a partial stake at first. The U.S. government got 61 percent of GM in exchange for giving the company about $50 billion in aid as it went through bankruptcy protection last year. GM has repaid $6.7 billion of the money, and the balance was converted to the ownership stake in the automaker. GM is anxious to get out from under government ownership to improve the company’s perception with the public and its sales, Whitacre told reporters at an automotive industry conference.
From Herald news services