But after six years on the market, the Tundra hasn't changed much of anything. Instead, Toyota learned that unlike car buyers, American pickup owners are still fiercely loyal to their Fords, Rams and Chevrolets. And that Detroit feverishly guards its lead in the high-margin truck business.
US unemployment aid applications decline to 366,000
WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, indicating companies continue to hire at a modest but steady pace.The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 350,500, the lowest in nearly five years. The average is low because of seasonal factors, which reduced applications sharply last month. ___ US consumer debt up in December on student, auto loans WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Americans stepped up borrowing in December to buy cars and attend school. But they cut back sharply on credit card use, continuing a trend that could hold back growth this year. Consumer borrowing rose $14.6 billion in December from November to a total of $2.78 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. That's the highest level on record. The increase was driven entirely by gains in student and auto loans. Borrowing in the category that measures those loans increased $18.2 billion to $1.93 trillion. That's the biggest monthly gain since November 2001. ___ US productivity fell at 2 percent rate WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ U.S. worker productivity shrank in the final three months of 2012 although the decline was caused by temporary factors. Productivity contracted at an annual rate of 2 percent in the October-December quarter, the biggest drop since the first quarter of 2011, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Productivity had risen at a 3.2 percent rate in the July-September quarter. Labor costs rose at a 4.5 percent rate in the fourth quarter, the fastest gain since the first quarter of 2012.