Subway pledges that a foot will be 12 inches

Subway customers may soon be seeing "footlong" sandwiches that are more consistently a full 12 inches long,. Complaints that Subway's "footlong" sandwiches don't quite measure up have stretched all the way from Australia, across the Internet and this week into courts in New Jersey and Chicago. Subway responded Thursday with a statement saying it would work harder to achieve sandwich-length uniformity. "We have redoubled our efforts to ensure consistency and correct length in every sandwich we serve," the statement said, while declining to offer comment on the suits specifically. "Our commitment remains steadfast to ensure that every Subway Footlong sandwich is 12 inches at each location worldwide."

Initial jobless claims still at five-year low

The number of people who applied for new U.S. jobless benefits fell again last week and remained at a five-year low, though it's unclear whether the decline reflects improved hiring or dwindling layoffs. Initial applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000 in the week ended Jan. 19, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest level since January 2008, one month into the 2007-2009 recession. The average of new claims in the past month fell by 8,250 to 351,750, the lowest level since March 2008. The four-week average reduces seasonal volatility in the weekly data.

Leading indicators rose 0.5% last month

The index of U.S. leading indicators rose in December by the most in three months, showing the world's largest economy is poised to keep growing through the first half of this year. The Conference Board's gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months increased 0.5 percent after the November reading was revised to unchanged from a previously reported decline, the New York-based group said. Economists projected the gauge would rise 0.4 percent last month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Burger King cuts ties with U.K. beef supplier

Burger King is cutting ties with a supplier under investigation for selling beef products potentially tainted with horse meat. The chain said it would no longer use products from ABP Food Group subsidiary Silvercrest to supply its locations in Britain and Ireland. This past weekend, the fast food giant replaced all Silvercrest meat with deliveries from another supplier as a "voluntary and precautionary measure," it said. As a result, some Burger King menu items are "temporarily unavailable," the chain said, apologizing to its patrons for the inconvenience.