WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department says it could begin decreasing the size of some of its debt auctions in coming months based on an improving deficit situation that will allow it to pay back some of the national debt this quarter.
Treasury said Wednesday that any decrease in the size of the Treasury securities it sells to raise money to finance government operations will be gradual and investors will be alerted to the changes. Treasury said it plans to pay down $35 billion of the national debt this quarter, the first time it has reduced the debt in six years.
That pay-down will be only temporary and reflects in part higher tax revenues in April. Treasury projected that borrowing will increase by $223 billion in the July-September quarter.
Chinese firm to build electric buses in U.S.
LANCASTER, Calif. – The first Chinese-owned vehicle manufacturer in the United States has unveiled ambitious plans to build as many as 1,000 electric buses a year at a refurbished RV plant in the Mojave Desert.
At a news conference at its new facility Wednesday, BYD officials said the plant should produce the first 10 of its plug-in buses next year.
BYD hopes to be rolling out 50 a year within two years. It aims to be running the plant at full capacity, 1,000 buses a year, within 10 to 20 years.
BYD’s own rechargeable batteries will power the buses.
Windows RT sales lag as tablet market grows
NEW YORK – Microsoft is seeing slow sales of a version of Windows designed for thin and light tablets, a research firm says, even as the tablet market as a whole is growing.
Researchers at IDC say manufacturers shipped 200,000 tablets running Windows RT, the special version of Windows for iPad-style tablets, in the January to March period. That’s down from 900,000 shipped in the fourth quarter.
Microsoft launched Windows RT in October, along with the Surface tablet. The software also runs on other manufacturers’ tablets.
Microsoft’s larger Surface Pro tablets, which run standard Windows 8, did better.
Meanwhile, the global tablet market more than doubled to 49.2 million units.
Heinz shareholders OK Buffett acquisition plan
NEW YORK – Heinz is one step closer to going private.
The Pittsburgh-based ketchup maker said Tuesday that shareholders approved its acquisition by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, which also owns Burger King.
The firms have said Berkshire is acting as a financing partner while 3G, which is known for its aggressive cost-cutting, will run the company.