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Bank of Israel’s Chief Steps Down; Germany Meets Debt Limit; Mazda Recall

Bank of Israel’s Chief Steps Down; Germany Meets Debt Limit; Mazda Recall

Shell Subsidiary To Pay $3.8 Million for 2016 Gulf Spill

A subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to pay $3.8 million to the U.S. government to settle a lawsuit over a 2016 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The May 11, 2016, spill of nearly 2,000 barrels (317,975 liters) occurred about 97 miles (156 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast.

The New Orleans Advocate, citing court documents, reports that an investigation pointed to a leak in a piping system that is used to transport oil from a production well on the sea floor.

The settlement isn’t final. It must first be published in the Federal Register and have a 30-day public comment period before it can get final approval from a federal judge.

Where Americans found jobs: Business services and factories

Professional and business services drove nearly a quarter of U.S. job growth in June. The category, which includes computer systems designers, engineers, consultants and administrative staff, added 50,000 jobs during a robust month of hiring. Over the past year, it has added more than a half-million jobs.

Manufacturing added 36,000 jobs, the most since December. Over the past 12 months, this sector has gained 285,000 jobs, with about three-quarters of them involving durable goods such as metal products, computer parts and cars.

On the losing end was retail, which shed 21,600 jobs in June, mainly at general merchandise stores. That loss wiped out most of the 25,000 jobs the sector had added in May.

Overall, U.S. employers added 213,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate rose to 4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

Jobless Rate For Latino Americans Fell To Record Low in June

The unemployment rate for Hispanic and Latino Americans in June fell to 4.6 percent, their lowest recorded level since 1973. A hot job market has helped pull them off the unemployment rolls and into work. The category comprises people who identify ethnically as Hispanic or Latino and can include all races.

At the same time, the jobless rates for black and Asian Americans rose after reaching record lows in May. The rate for white Americans was flat.

The average length of unemployment fell to 21.2 weeks last month, the shortest span since March 2009.

All told, employers added 213,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate rose to 4 percent. But it climbed for an encouraging reason: More people came off the sidelines and began looking for a job, though not all of them immediately found one.

The data for demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report.

Mazda Recalls 270,000 Vehicles Over Takata Airbags

Mazda is recalling nearly 270,000 vehicles with Takata airbags that have the potential to explode.

Chemicals used to inflate the air bags can deteriorate in some conditions, causing them to deploy with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister that can result in flying shrapnel.

The potentially deadly defect can be found in passenger-side airbags on certain 2003-2008 Mazda6, 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6 and 2004 MPV vehicles nationwide. It also involves 2005-2006 MPV models in certain states.

Over the last several years, about 50 million air bag inflators have been recalled in the U.S., with 22 deaths and more than 180 injuries linked to the defect.

Takata has since been bought by Chinese-owned U.S. mobility safety company Key Safety System.

Israel’s Central Bank Chief To Step Down in November

The governor of Israel’s central bank says she will not be seeking another term in office.

Karnit Flug, chief of the Bank of Israel, says in a statement Friday: “I will end my tenure with a feeling of great satisfaction.” Her five-year term ends in November.

Flug says the bank has played a “marked role” in the robustness and stability of Israel’s economy in recent years.

Flug said she notified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of her decision on Thursday.

Netanyahu issued a statement thanking Flug for her service, adding he “very much appreciates her contribution to the Israeli economy.

Germany Meets Euro Debt Limit For First Time in 17 Years

The German government says its 2019 budget will comply with eurozone debt limits for the first time in 17 years.

The draft budget also raises defense spending — a contentious issue between Germany and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told a news conference that debt would fall to 58.25 percent of yearly economic output. That would put it below the 60 percent limit established by rules to ensure fiscal responsibility and price stability in the 19 countries that use the euro.

The debt burden has fallen as the economy has grown and the government has run balanced budgets. And eurozone governments have been able to save on borrowing costs in recent years thanks to stimulus efforts by the European Central Bank that have included very low interest rates and purchases of government bonds.

But the tight budgets have drawn criticism that the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has neglected investment needs and skimped on defense spending. At 1.3 percent of gross domestic product, defense outlays remain below NATO members’ target of 2 percent by 2024. Germany has committed to raising its defense spending toward the NATO guideline after a period of shrinking expenditure.

The defense spending by NATO allies promises to be a contentious issue at an upcoming NATO summit on July 11-12 after Trump again pressed allies to raise their spending commitments.

Germany’s defense budget is getting an 11 percent yearly increase, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was quoted as saying by the newspapers of the Funke media group. She said that “Germany has strong arguments in that regard” ahead of the summit.

The eurozone debt rules have a checkered history since the currency was introduced in 1999. They have been widely breached but enforcement turned out to be weak. The average government debt level in the eurozone was 86.7 percent of GDP last year, with France’s at 97 percent and Italy’s at 132 percent. After the 2010-2012 debt crisis, the rules on debt were backed up with a treaty limiting deficits.

The draft budget will be taken up by the parliament in the fall.

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