Business News


Green shoots in Europe as the 19-country bloc's combined economy grew by 0.3% in the final three months of the year,  better than expected. Region-wide growth was driven by the euro zone's largest economy, Germany, which expanded by 0.7% during the quarter. In 2014 as a whole, the German economy grew by 1.6%. (CNBC)

US retail sales fell last month as gas prices plummeted and auto sales slowed. Retail sales dropped 0.8% in January, following a 0.9% decline in December. The dollar value of gas station sales plunged 9.3%, the largest drop in six years. Auto dealer sales also fell for the second straight month after big gains in the fall. Outside those categories, sales ticked up 0.2%. (Associated Press)

Old things become new again. The iconic View-Master stereoscopic photo viewer you had as a kid is catching up to the digital age. Mattel is teaming up with Google on an upcoming virtual reality-based View-Master. Mattel will make the announcement today at the annual Toy Fair trade show. The original View-Master dates back to the 1939 New York World's Fair.  (USA Today)

Mortgage rates rose this week, but remained near historically low levels. The nationwide average for 30-year mortgages rose to 3.69%, while 15-year loans increased to 2.99%. (USA Today)
 

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