The "Guardians" still rule, soon your car will talk to other cars, and raises are expected to raise 3 percent next year. Read about these and more of the day's top business news stories.
Guardians Still Rules the Galaxy, Approaches $300 Million
In a traditionally slow weekend at the box office, “Guardians of the Galaxy” continued its triumphant run as the number one movie at the box office. With a domestic tally of $294.57 million, it is now the No. 1 film of the year. The weekend between the end of summer and beginning of school is usually a slow one. Only one new film debuted, the faith-based “The Identical,” which flopped, coming in at No. 11 for the weekend. Rounding out the top five at the box office were “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “If I Stay,” “Let’s Be Cops” and “The November Man.”
GM Driving Car-to-Car Communication Technology
Car-to-car and automated driving technologies are two years away, General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra announced Sunday. GM will introduce cars that can communicate with each other to help avoid accidents and ease traffic congestion, the Associated Press reports. Auto companies, academics and government agencies around the world are working to develop cameras, sensors, radar and other technologies that allow vehicles and surrounding infrastructure like stoplights to alert each other about nearby driving conditions. In the summer of 2016, GM will sell a 2017 model Cadillac CTS sedan standardly equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle technology. However, the car will only be able to communicate with similarly equipped vehicles, GM officials noted. GM will also introduce an option, Super Cruise, allowing hands-free highway driving at both highway and stop-and-go speeds, as well as lane following, speed control and braking in an as yet unidentified 2017 Cadillac model.
Japan Economy Contracted More than Estimated
Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, released revised data showing its economy contracted at an annual rate of 7.1 percent in April-June, Bloomberg reports. The data released Monday showed business investment fell more than earlier estimated. Japan’s recovery has slowed following an increase in the sales tax from 5 percent to 8 percent on April 1. The economy grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6 percent in January-March. Business activity surged early in the year as consumers and businesses stepped up purchases to avoid paying the increased tax.
2015 Pay Raises Projected to Rise Up to 3 Percent
U.S. employees could be on the receiving end of 3 percent raises, according to a report released Monday by compensation consultant Towers Watson. Inflation is currently running at about 2.1 percent. The forecast 3 percent raises are about on par with the 2.9 percent average raise for this year and last, according to the survey of nearly 1,100 American companies. The performing employees with the highest performance ratings received 4.5 percent raises this year, while average rated workers received a 2.6 percent raise. The median annual salary among the nation's 106.6 million workers is now about $40,560, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Everything is Awesome: Legoland Planned for Dubai
Dubai will be the site of the Middle East’s first Legoland theme park as part of a proposed entertainment and resort complex planned by a property development company controlled by Dubai's ruler. The project is part of a broader push by the Arab world's commercial hub to ramp up its hotel and tourism offerings as it prepares to host the World Expo in 2020, the Associated Press reports. Initial work began in February on the $2.7 billion Dubai Parks and Resorts project, and that the first phase should be done by 2016. In addition to the Legoland park, that initial phase will include a Bollywood-themed park celebrating the Indian film industry and another known as Motiongate Dubai promising to bring Hollywood characters to life. Dubai aims to host 20 million visitors annually by 2020, up from 10 million in 2012.
Honda Recalls 126,000 Motorcycles
It’s déjà vu all over again for Honda Motor Co., which is recalling 126,000 motorcycles for a second time, the Associated Press reports. The recall covers Honda's GL-1800 motorcycles for model years 2001-2010 and 2012 because their brakes can malfunction. A problem with the secondary brake master cylinder can cause the rear brake to drag, potentially leading to a crash or fire. Honda had received 533 complaints through July 24, including reports of eight small fires. There have been no reports of crashes or injuries as a result of the problem, the AP states.