Credit card holders get better at payments

The ability of credit card holders to pay off debt has shown sustained improvement this year and on Monday the top U.S. credit card issuers said that trend continued in October. Statistics posted by five of the six biggest card companies mainly showed fewer balances being written off as uncollectible, and fewer card customers falling behind on their payments. Four of the six biggest issuers, included the largest, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., reported their lowest levels of bad debt and late payments this year. Capital One Financial Corp. said it wrote off 7.26 percent of balances, down from 8.38 percent the prior month. Chase and Discover Financial Services Inc. posted more modest improvements. The charge-off rate at American Express Co. was flat at 4.7 percent, the lowest among the six largest card companies. Bank of America and Citibank reported upticks in loans they gave up trying to collect.

China's future jetliner gets help from abroad

China is aiming to reshape the global aviation industry with a home-grown jetliner. Some well-known U.S. companies are aiding China in its quest. A full-scale mockup of the C919 will be unveiled this week at an air show in southern China. Slated for production by 2016, the 156-seat, single-aisle passenger plane would have its fuselage emblazoned with Comac, short for the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China. But inside, the most crucial systems would bear the trademarks of some of the biggest names in Western aviation. Honeywell International Inc. will supply power units, on-board computing systems, wheels and brakes; Rockwell Collins Inc. will handle navigation systems; GE Aviation is building the avionics; Eaton Corp. is involved with fuel and hydraulics; and Parker Aerospace of Irvine is responsible for flight controls. Powering the aircraft will be two fuel-efficient engines built by CFM International, co-owned by GE and French conglomerate Safran.

GM IPO shares said likely to cost $32 or more

A person briefed on the matter says General Motors is likely to raise the price range of its common stock to $32 to $33 per share in its initial public offering on Thursday. The person says GM also will sell 9 million more preferred shares than originally expected. GM plans to announce the moves early Tuesday. Bankers handling the sale are expected to stop taking orders for the shares Tuesday afternoon. The person did not want to be identified because the price has not been formally announced. Earlier this month GM said its owners will sell 365 million common shares for $26 to $29 each. GM also planned to sell 60 million preferred shares for $50 each. The person says the changes are due to high investor demand.

Tensions flare in Europe's debt crisis

Europe's debt crisis spread widening ripples, with Irish officials denying that their talks with other eurozone governments were aimed at getting a bailout, while the Greek Prime Minister accused Germany of making things worse with talk of forcing creditors to take losses. The flare-up in tension Monday adds to pressure on EU finance ministers, who will be in Brussels Tuesday for their monthly meeting. A weeklong sell-off of Irish and Portuguese bonds has thrown them back into crisis management. The Irish Department of Finance said in a statement Monday it was pursuing "contacts at official level" with other eurozone governments and the EU, but aides to Finance Minister Brian Lenihan emphasized Ireland has no need for a lifeline from the 750 billion euro financial backstop for the eurozone. Ireland says it had enough cash to last through mid-2011. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, meanwhile, said German pressure to create a mechanism that would let governments default on their debts in the future was scaring off desperately needed investors.

Japan reports a stronger third quarter

The Japanese economy gained momentum in the third quarter, growing at an annualized pace of 3.9 percent, according to data released Monday, as the end of a government stimulus plan gave private consumption a late lift. Still, economists warned of an imminent slowdown as a strong yen, faltering exports and the end of generous government incentives for fuel-efficient cars pinched company earnings. Deflation, or a decline in prices, has also weighed on the recovery from Japan's worst recession since World War II.

FROM NEWS SERVICES