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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Chicago Lands New Digital And Design Manufacturing Hub

February 25, 2014 1:59 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The President has announced the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDI), which will be headquartered in Chicago, Ill., and funded via a $70 million grant that state and private entities will match to the tune of $250 million.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Dips Slightly In February

February 25, 2014 10:57 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. consumer confidence fell slightly in February over concerns about the near-term outlook for business conditions and jobs. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index dipped to 78.1 this month, down from 79.4 in January.   

Warren Buffett Offers Lesson In Value Investing

February 24, 2014 2:06 pm | News | Comments

Warren Buffett is offering a refresher course on his approach to investing in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholders. Buffett's full letter won't be released until Saturday, but Fortune magazine published an excerpt of it online (http://bit.ly/1hKsIk1 ) on Monday.

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Equipment Leasing and Finance Industry Confidence Levels Near Two-Year High

February 24, 2014 12:42 pm | by The Equipment Leasing Finance Foundation | News | Comments

Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 63.3, the second highest index in two years and off slightly from last month’s two-year index high of 64.9.                          

Obama Looks To Governors For Help With Economy

February 24, 2014 8:15 am | by Steve Peoples, Associated Press | News | Comments

His domestic priorities stalled in a divided Congress, President Barack Obama is looking for allies among America's governors. The president plans to meet Monday with governors of both parties at the White House, following a Sunday dinner in which he told state leaders their cooperation "is vital to make sure we're doing right by the American people."

Detroit Automakers Worry About UAW Money Struggles

February 24, 2014 8:00 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

They worry that the 382,000-member UAW could be absorbed by a more hostile union. Such a merger could disrupt a decade of labor-management peace that has helped America's auto industry survive the financial crisis and emerge much stronger, according to a person with knowledge of executive discussions.

Transcripts Show Fed Grappling With 2008 Crisis

February 21, 2014 11:27 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers | News | Comments

Federal Reserve officials agonized throughout 2008 over how far they could go to stop a financial catastrophe that threatened to pull the economy into a deep recession, transcripts of the Fed's policy meetings that year show.     

Japan Trade Deficit Hits Record $27.4B In January

February 20, 2014 2:16 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A weakening in the Japanese yen over the past year has failed to boost exports as much as hoped while imports of oil and gas, food and other products have surged. Consumers and businesses are thought to be stepping up purchases ahead of an April 1 sales tax hike.

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Wal-Mart Offers Weak Outlook On Sales Shortfall

February 20, 2014 2:11 pm | by Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer | News | Comments

Much like its low-income shoppers, Wal-Mart can't seem to catch a break in as the U.S. economy rebounds. The world's largest retailer on Thursday posted a 21 percent drop in fourth quarter profit and gave a subdued forecast for the current quarter as it continues to be weighed down by a number of factors.

U.S. Consumer Prices Rose 0.1 Percent Last Month

February 20, 2014 12:08 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. consumer prices barely rose last month as a sharp increase in energy costs was offset by cheaper clothing, cars and air fares. The figures indicate inflation remains mild. The Labor Department said Thursday that the consumer price index rose just 0.1 percent in January, down from a 0.2 percent gain in December

Gauge Of U.S. Economy's Health Up 0.3 Percent

February 20, 2014 10:36 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Conference Board reported Thursday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.3 percent last month following no change in December and a solid 0.9 percent increase in November. The index is designed to signal economic conditions over the next three to six months.

U.S. Applications For Jobless Benefits Drop To 336K

February 20, 2014 9:41 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell a slight 3,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, a sign that layoffs remain low. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose slightly to a seasonally adjusted 338,500.

China's Manufacturing Slows To 7-Month Low

February 20, 2014 7:49 am | News | Comments

China's economic activity has slowed steadily as the government tries to reduce reliance on investment in industry and infrastructure and encourage more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption. HSBC economist Hongbin Qu said that the buildup of pressure for prices to fall "implies that the underlying momentum for manufacturing growth could be weakening."

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IHS: 4Q Manufacturing Employment Surges To 4-Year High

February 19, 2014 4:52 pm | by Aparna Soni, Economist, IHS Global Insight | News | Comments

At over 12 million jobs nationwide, manufacturing employment is now the highest it has been since 2009. The sector recovered handsomely from the setbacks it had faced earlier in the second and third quarters and is poised to start the new year on a strong footing.

Downside Of Low Inflation: A Weaker Global Economy

February 19, 2014 2:39 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Overall prices are barely budging because the economy is still weak. And the reverse may be true, too: Super-low inflation has likely slowed growth from the United States to Japan to Europe. It's why the world's central banks would like prices to rise.

U.S. Producer Prices Rose Slight 0.2 Percent In Jan.

February 19, 2014 11:20 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Labor Department says the producer price index, which tracks prices before they reach consumers, rose 0.2 percent in January. That followed a 0.1 percent increase in December and a flat reading in November. In the past year, producer prices have risen just 1.2 percent, below the Federal Reserve's preferred target rate.

Report: Offshoring And Outsourcing A Mixed Bag For U.S. Jobs, Wages

February 19, 2014 9:41 am | by UC Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) | News | Comments

Without solid numbers, many have assumed that most of the offshored jobs go to developing countries where workers are paid near-poverty wages in less than ideal working conditions. However, the researchers said public fear that offshoring to lower-cost countries is putting downward pressure on U.S. jobs may be overblown.

Budget Office: Wage Hike Would Lift Pay, Cost Jobs

February 19, 2014 7:40 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 jobs, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday.

Obama, Fellow Dems Are At Odds On Big Trade Bills

February 18, 2014 2:20 pm | by Tom Raum, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama wants to put major emerging trade deals with Europe and Asia on a "fast track" to congressional passage. But with midterm elections looming, many fellow Democrats are working to sidetrack them instead.     

U.S. Gov't. Is Broadening Producer Price Index

February 18, 2014 2:05 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

By tracking what manufacturers and farmers charged for their goods, the producer price index has traditionally provided an early read of inflation trends. It captured how much of the change in oil, grains and other raw material costs was being passed on by producers.

Toray To Invest $1 Billion, Hire 500 In S.C.

February 18, 2014 1:52 pm | by S.C. Department of Commerce | News | Comments

Toray Industries, Inc., a Tokyo-based manufacturer of fibers and textiles, plastic resins, films and carbon fiber compositematerials, has selected Spartanburg County, S.C. for its next global facility. The $1 billion investment over the next decade is expected to create 500 new jobs and represents one of the largest initial capital investments in South Carolina's history.

MAPI: January Production Down, But Year-Long Outlook Still Good

February 18, 2014 10:20 am | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

"The Federal Reserve reports that industrial production fell 0.3 percent in January, following 0.3 percent growth in December. The abnormally cold weather caused a 4.1 percent surge in utility production last month."

Obama: Immigration, Minimum Wage Top Agenda

February 14, 2014 2:06 pm | by Charles Babington, Associated Press | News | Comments

The president and vice president called for sweeping changes to immigration laws, but Republican leaders have all but ruled out passage before the midterm election. Obama urged the Democratic crowd to keep working for it and insisted some Republicans want a deal.

Eurozone Recovery Accelerates But Jobs Elusive

February 14, 2014 12:55 pm | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

The economy of the euro bloc grew 0.3 percent in the October-December period from the previous quarter, the Eurostat statistics office said Friday. That was slightly faster than expected and up from the third quarter's 0.1 percent. The recovery remains tepid, however, at least by global standards.

Cold Weather Causes Factory Output To Drop

February 14, 2014 10:05 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Federal Reserve said factory production plunged 0.8 percent in January, reversing gains of 0.3 percent in both December and November. Automakers lost days of production because of snowstorms, as their production plummeted 5.1 percent, the report said.

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