December U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $491.89 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 9.9 percent from November and up 11.8 percent when compared with the total of $439.90 million reported for December 2012.
Growth has marched steadily downward over the past two years as Beijing clamped down on a spending boom that analysts worry has pushed debt to dangerous levels. That has meant less Chinese demand for imported goods from copper and cement to factory machinery and earth movers.
Communist Party leaders pledged in November to open state-dominated industries wider to private competition and ease limits on foreign investment in what could be China's most significant economic overhaul in at least two decades.
The city of Detroit says it will file a plan to emerge from bankruptcy next week, just days before a March 1 deadline. Detroit filed for bankruptcy last summer, claiming $18 billion in long-term debt. It recently shared a reorganization plan with creditors, although that plan is subject to change while negotiations occur in private.
Two straight weak job reports have raised doubts about economists' predictions of breakout growth in 2014. The global economy is showing signs of slowing — again. Manufacturing has slumped. Fewer people are signing contracts to buy homes. Global stock markets have sunk as anxiety has gripped developing nations.
The new cap on borrowing is expected to be about $17.2 trillion. It means Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will have to employ bookkeeping maneuvers to keep the government functioning until Congress further raises the borrowing limit.
The Labor Department says employers added 113,000 jobs, less than the average monthly gain of 194,000 in 2013. This follows December's tepid increase of just 75,000. Job gains have averaged only 154,000 the past three months, down from 201,000 in the preceding three months.
Republicans have blocked legislation from advancing in the Senate to restore benefits for the long-term unemployed. It's the second time this year that Democrats have sought to move the bill along, and they say they will try again.
The National Retail Federation's cautiously optimistic forecast on Thursday comes as stores are still reeling from a difficult holiday season where they had to discount heavily to get shoppers to buy. That weakness has continued through January as retailers have had to deal with a series of winter storms that have kept shoppers at home.
The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits declined 20,000 last week to 331,000, suggesting that Americans are facing fewer layoffs and better job prospects. The Labor Department said the four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up 250 to 334,000.
Productivity grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the October-December period, down slightly from a 3.6 percent growth rate in the third quarter, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Labor costs fell at a 1.6 percent rate in the fourth quarter after an even bigger 2 percent rate of decline in the third quarter.
Analysts said the larger-than-expected trade deficit for December would likely reduce estimates of growth in the October-December quarter. The government had initially estimated fourth-quarter growth at a 3.2 percent annual rate.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the eighth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 56th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.
Payroll processor ADP says companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That's down from 227,000 in December, which was revised lower. But it was much better than the government's official figure of just 74,000 new jobs in December.
SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, which represents the nation’s third largest manufacturing industry, supports President Obama’s efforts to create jobs and strengthen the middle class by expanding the economy and negotiating sensible trade agreements.
The region added nearly 47,000 jobs in 2013, up 3 percent over the previous year, and the total number of jobs has surpassed pre-recession levels. Many are high wage jobs — 45 percent of households now earn more than $100,000, and per capita income is above $70,000 a year, much higher than the state average of about $44,000.
The U.S. budget deficit is set to fall to $514 billion this year, down substantially from last year and the lowest level by far since President Barack Obama took office five years ago, a congressional report said Tuesday.
Orders to U.S. factories fell 1.5 percent in December, the biggest drop since July, with much of the weakness coming from a plunge in aircraft orders, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Orders had risen 1.5 percent in November after a 0.5 percent October decrease.
“While U.S. manufacturing continued its growth into the new year, survey data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the pace of factory activity slowed considerably. The overall Index fell by 5.2 percentage points from 56.5 in December to 51.3 in January, still signaling overall output advances but at a far more muted pace."
There is much debate over the effectiveness of the strategy, the affect it has had on “American” brand quality, and the affect it is having on the U.S. economy and its ability to pull out of the current recession.
U.S. manufacturing barely expanded last month as factories cut back sharply on production, and new orders plunged. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 51.3 in January from 56.5 in the previous month.
Americans increased their spending at a solid pace for the second straight month in December even though their income was flat. Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in December, compared with November when spending had increased an even stronger 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
CEOs from companies like Apple, Walmart, Visa and Boeing are heading to the White House on Friday to deliver commitments to do their part. Although the unemployment rate has declined to 6.7 percent, long-term joblessness in the U.S. remains a major problem.
The Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for January is 52.3, up from 50.6 in December, as both the Production and New Order indexes rebounded after a seasonal, year-end low. A PMI value above 50 generally suggests economic growth.
Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 19,000 last week to 348,000, the highest in about a month. But the broader trend in applications remains low. The Labor Department says that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased just 750 to 333,000. The increase follows three weeks of declines.