AUTOS

U.S. orders air bag data

U.S. safety regulators are ordering Japanese auto supplier Takata Corp. to provide more information about air bags that can explode and shoot shrapnel toward drivers and passengers.

The order sent Thursday makes 36 separate requests for information on production mistakes, lawsuit settlements and reports of deaths or injuries that the Tokyo-based company has received. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also wants to know how many replacement parts Takata can make each day and what it has discussed with automakers and competitors.

Takata has until Dec. 1 to turn in the information or it could face fines of $7,000 per day. A Takata spokesman said the company is cooperating and will work to meet the agency’s requests.

SAFETY

‘Safe zone’ for online deals

A police department in suburban Philadelphia has created a “safe zone” for people to complete transactions arranged online.

The Conshohocken Police Department said individuals making purchases from other people through Craigslist and other online sites are free to complete the deals in the police department’s lobby or parking lot.

The idea for the safe zone came after an officer said his wife told him she was going to another person’s house to complete an online purchase. He didn’t like the idea.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida started a similar program in May.

ECONOMY

3.5 percent growth in quarter

The U.S. economy powered its way to a solid annual growth rate of 3.5 percent from July through September, outpacing most of the developed world and appearing on track to extend its momentum through this year.

The result isn’t a fluke.

It turns out the world’s biggest economy did a lot of things right after the Great Recession that set it apart from other major nations. In the view of many economists, those key decisions, particularly by the Federal Reserve, appear to be paying off now.

An improving economy led the Fed on Wednesday to end its stimulative bond buying program. Launched during the 2008 financial crisis, it was an unprecedented and aggressive effort to revive a dormant economy by buying trillions in bonds to reduce long-term interest rates.

Gains in business investment, exports and the biggest jump in military spending in five years propelled the quarterly growth.

EMPLOYMENT

Jobless applications tick up

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, but remained at historically low levels that signal a strengthening job market.

The Labor Department says weekly applications increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 250 to 281,000, the lowest level in more than 14 years.

HOUSING

Mortgage rates reverse trend

Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates arrested their five-week decline this week but the benchmark 30-year loan remained below 4 percent.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage rose to 3.98 percent from 3.92 percent last week. It remained at its lowest level since June 2013. The rate stood at 4.53 percent back in January.

Compiled from staff and wire reports