Morning Business Memo:
More adults are moving in with their parents. A new survey by PulteGroup, one of America’s biggest builders, says almost one third of homeowners expect their grown kids or parents to live with them. USA Today says the survey shows that the rise in multi-generational households might continue. “It’s an enormous change,” Stephen Melman, director of economic services at the National Association of Home Builders, told the newspaper. “I remember when I was in college, no one wanted to be near their parents.” Some of the change is clearly the result of economic stress and the weak jobs market. But a smaller generational divide between baby-boomer parents and their 20-something children might also be a cause.
The Commerce Department today releases figures on September housing starts. The report comes a day after the National Association of Home Builders reported that builder sentiment had surged to the highest level since before the housing bubble burst.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a government-backed maker of electric car batteries has sparked more Republican criticism of the Obama administration’s policy of backing green energy firms. A123 Systems – a manufacturer and designer of batteries and battery packs – is reported to have received $132 million of a grant from the Energy Department. The firm has filed for bankruptcy protection and reached a deal to sell its automotive assets. The moves come after weak sales and rising loses. Auto parts maker Johnson Controls will pay $125 million for A123′s auto business, which includes two Michigan factories and lithium-ion battery technology. According to The Associated Press, a spokeswoman for Mitt Romney’s campaign said in an email that the bankruptcy was “yet another failure for the president’s disastrous strategy of gambling away billions of taxpayer dollars on a strategy of government-led growth that simply does not work.” Despite high gas prices, Americans have been slow to buy electric vehicles because they’re expensive to buy and have limited range.
Next week will be a big one for the growing tablet market. Apple is expected to announce the new iPad Mini Tuesday. The tablet is thought to be about half the size of the regular iPad and to start at $249 or $299. The regular iPad starts at $499 for the most recent models. Microsoft’s first tablet computer, the Surface, will have a starting price of $499. It goes on sale Friday, Oct. 26.
Keep your iPhone away from food! A new survey by warranty provider SquareTrade finds 1 out of 5 wrecked iPhones were destroyed in the kitchen. The living room was next highest with 18 percent of those surveyed saying their iPhones had been damaged in the living room. Some were dropped in the toilet or sink. The bathroom was the third most-likely site of damaged phones.
Here’s what passes for good news in Europe’s financial crisis. Analysts say European stocks rose this morning with growing speculation that Spain is finally ready to ask for financial aid. The interest rate on Spain’s benchmark 10-year bond has fallen to 5.53 percent today after getting close to 6 percent in recent weeks. There was also some relief in financial markets that Moody’s did not cut Spain’s credit rating, as had been widely feared. Instead, Moody’s maintained its Baa3 rating on Spain, the lowest investment grade.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio ABCNews.com twitter.com/daviesabc