Business News: More Young Conservatives?; Germany Balances; Air France Strikes

By: AP
By: AP

CHICAGO (AP) -- This generation of young Americans has been called many things, from civic-minded to "entitled." But fiscally conservative?
That's a new one, and it just might have an impact on the presidential election.
Polls show that President Barack Obama remains the favorite among 18- to 29-year-old registered voters, as he was in 2008. No one thinks the majority of young voters will support Republican Mitt Romney in the Nov. 6 election.
But one expert says the polls also hint at a "schism" between those who weren't old enough to vote in 2008 and their older twentysomething counterparts.
In one poll, 42 percent of 18- and 19-year-olds identified as "conservative," compared with just over one-third who said they were "liberal." By comparison, those proportions were nearly flipped for 22- to 24-year-olds.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A survey shows consumer confidence rose this month to the highest level in five years, an encouraging sign for the still-weak economy
The University of Michigan's final index of October consumer sentiment rose to 82.6 from 78.3 in September. That's the highest since September 2007 -- three months before the Great Recession began.
Falling gas prices and a slightly better job market lifted consumers' outlook. The unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the first time since July 2009 than it has been below 8 percent.
The survey followed a government report that said consumer spending helped boost economic growth in the July-September quarter to a 2 percent annual rate. That's up from a 1.3 percent rate in the April-June quarter.

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's finance minister says the government will come close to balancing its budget next year as economic growth outpaces public spending.
Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has been working toward a target of fully balancing its budget in 2016. On Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "must be our essential aim, because we have this obligation toward our children and grandchildren."
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble indicated in an article for the Tagesspiegel newspaper released Saturday that the government is ahead of target. He said the federal government expects a "near-balanced budget" in 2013.
Schaeuble said Germany's budget deficit will fall below 0.5 percent this year. Last year, it was 1 percent.
The country's healthy public finances have been helped by a robust economy that has produced increases in tax income.

PARIS (AP) -- Several hundred striking Air France workers have clashed with police during a demonstration inside Paris' Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.
The protesters and police scuffled in one of the airport's departure halls Saturday, knocking over planters and surprising travelers waiting for flights. The terminal was crowded because it is the start of a nationwide two-week school vacation in France.
No injuries were reported.
The demonstrators are protesting a restructuring plan decided by Air France management that aims to cut 10 percent of the airline's workforce.
The strike, which is scheduled to last through the weekend, slightly delayed some flights Friday, but traffic was back to normal Saturday, with no flights canceled.

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