Toyota disputes Ford claim of Focus outselling Corolla

The stylish and nimble Ford Focus is on track to unseat Toyota’s aging Corolla to become the world’s top-selling car, according to Ford.

The company said it sold 489,616 Focus sedans and hatchbacks globally in the first half of 2012, besting the Corolla by almost 27,000.

But Toyota isn’t conceding the title. It has disputed Ford’s numbers, saying its car is still on top when you include Corollas sold under other names. Hatchback versions of the Corolla are sold as the Auris in Europe and Matrix in the U.S.

Spain bailing out Bankia after losses of $5.6 billion

The Spanish government will immediately inject financial aid into Bankia after the troubled lender announced losses of $5.6 billion in the first half of the year, authorities said Friday.

The money will come from the fund for the orderly restructuring of banks, or FROB, a bank rescue fund set up to help Spain’s deeply troubled financial sector. The fund said in a statement late Friday that it planned to transfer capital into Bankia SA and its parent group Banco Financiero y de Ahorros SA with immediate effect after “the accounts declared significant losses.”

The fund did not specify how much it would inject into Bankia. But it said the money was an advance loan prior to Spain receiving a package of up to $126.1 billion from other eurozone countries so that it can bail out all of its troubled banks.

Core capital goods orders plummet 4 percent in July

Orders to U.S. companies rose in July, reflecting a surge in demand for autos and commercial aircraft. But in a troubling sign of manufacturing weakness, a key orders category that tracks business investment plans fell by the largest amount in eight months.

Factory orders rose 2.8 percent in July, the biggest overall advance in a year, reflecting sizable gains in demand for motor vehicles and airplanes, the Commerce Department said Friday. But core capital goods orders, viewed as a good proxy for investment spending, plunged 4 percent, the fourth setback in the past five months.

The worry is that businesses have begun to scale back their plans to expand and modernize in the face of spreading economic weakness in Europe and such major U.S. export markets as China, Brazil and India.

Unemployment in eurozone stays at record 11.3 percent

The unemployment rate across the 17 countries that use the euro remained at a record high of 11.3 percent in July, official figures showed Friday, underscoring the huge task leaders face to restore confidence in the continent’s economy.

The European Union’s statistical agency, Eurostat, said 88,000 more people were without a job in July.

— From news service reports