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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

U.S. Trade Deficit Drops To $43.4B

December 5, 2014 1:46 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit fell slightly in October as exports rebounded while oil imports dipped to the lowest level in five years. The deficit edged down 0.4 percent to $43.4 billion, a drop from a revised $43.6 billion in September, the Commerce Department...

U.S. Adds The Most Jobs In Nearly 3 Years

December 5, 2014 1:38 pm | by Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. employers added a whopping 321,000 jobs in November, the biggest burst of hiring in nearly three years and the latest sign that the United States is outperforming other economies throughout the developed world. The Labor Department also said Friday that 44,000 more jobs were...

GM Closes Opel Plant After 52 Years

December 5, 2014 1:35 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The last vehicle has rolled off Opel's production line at its flagship factory in Bochum, which General Motors is shuttering as it restructures its lossmaking European subsidiary. The dpa news agency reported Friday that with the production of the last Opel Zafira compact van, the...

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Gas Prices Below $2 Per Gallon In TX, OK

December 5, 2014 1:30 pm | by Ken Miller, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gas has dropped below $2 a gallon at a handful of stations in Oklahoma and Texas this week, a level that a price-watching group says is the lowest in the nation and a bargain that's proven irresistible to some long lines of drivers coming from miles to fill up...

U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Fall To 297K

December 4, 2014 12:38 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits slipped below 300,000 last week, after having spiked above that level in the prior week for the first time in nearly three months. Weekly applications fell 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 297,000, the Labor Department...

Fed Survey Finds Economy Expanding At End Of Year

December 3, 2014 2:10 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy kept expanding in October and November, helped by solid gains in consumer spending, manufacturing and overall employment. The Fed's latest review of business conditions around the country found many areas of strength. The report for the first time this...

Promotions, Gas Prices Boost U.S. Auto Sales

December 3, 2014 2:03 pm | by Tom Krisher, Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press | News | Comments

American shoppers passed on the malls and headed to the car dealerships over Thanksgiving weekend. Black Friday promotions — coupled with falling gas prices, low-interest loans and hot new vehicles — drove U.S. auto sales higher in November, kicking off what's expected to be...

U.S. Services Firms Growing More Quickly

December 3, 2014 1:50 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. services firms expanded at a faster pace in November, a signal that overall economic growth should remain robust. The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its services index rose to 59.3 last month, up from 57.1 in October. The first gain in two months pulls the...

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U.S. Productivity Grew At 2.3% Rate In 3Q

December 3, 2014 10:03 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. workers' productivity increased in the July-September quarter at a slightly faster pace than previously estimated while labor costs declined for a second straight quarter. Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, increased at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the...

Obama To Discuss Economic Ideas With CEOs

December 3, 2014 9:45 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is meeting with leading CEOs to discuss ways to promote the economy and create jobs during his last two years in office. Obama on Wednesday will attend the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs. Obama plans to give...

U.S. Companies Added 208K Jobs Last Month

December 3, 2014 9:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. businesses hired at a solid pace last month, according to a private survey, a signal that Friday's November jobs report from the government will likely also show strength. Payroll processer ADP said Wednesday that companies added 208,000 jobs in November, the third straight month that hiring...

Chrysler U.S. Sales Up 20% In November

December 2, 2014 1:51 pm | by Tom Krisher, Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler's U.S. sales rose 20 percent last month a sign that Black Friday promotions and falling gas prices drove U.S. auto sales higher in November. Chrysler sold nearly 171,000 vehicles to post its best November in 13 years. The company was led by the Chrysler...

U.S. CEOs Expect To Boost Hiring In Next 6 Months

December 2, 2014 1:48 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies expect sales to keep growing in the next six months and also plan to step up hiring. The Business Roundtable says 40 percent of its member CEOs expect to hire more workers, up from 34 percent in the third quarter. Nearly three-quarters...

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ISM: Manufacturing Slows Slightly, Remains Strong

December 2, 2014 1:40 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the 18th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 66th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. Manufacturing expanded in...

Deflation Looms Over Europe

December 2, 2014 12:10 pm | by Pan Pylas, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

It's the D-word that's pushing the European Central Bank into a corner. But it's not debt — Europe's main economic problem in recent years — that is driving speculation the ECB will switch on the printing press to help the economy. It's... 

Russia Warns Of Recession Next Year

December 2, 2014 11:14 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Russian government has for the first time acknowledged that the country will fall into recession next year, battered by the combination of Western sanctions and a plunge in the price of its oil exports. The news caused markets to drop, with the ruble sliding back toward a...

Stocks Slip After Retail Sales Weaken, China Slows

December 1, 2014 5:09 pm | by Matthew Craft, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Mounting signs of weakness in the global economy and a poor start to the holiday shopping season knocked the stock market lower on Monday. Earlier sales, a shift to online shopping and stagnant wages meant fewer Americans showed up to stores over the Thanksgiving weekend, the National Retail...

U.S. Factory Growth Slips In Nov, But Still Healthy

December 1, 2014 12:08 pm | by By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factories were slightly less busy in November, as production and hiring slowed, though the level of activity remained strong. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index slipped to 58.7 last month from 59 in October. Any...

Oil Plunge Is Either Threat Or Boon To Global Economies

December 1, 2014 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A renewed plunge in oil prices is a worrying sign of weakness in the global economy that could shake governments dependent on oil revenues. Yet it is also a bonus for consumers as prices fall at the pump, giving individuals more spending money and lowering costs for many...

China Manufacturing Gauge Falls To 6 Month Low

November 30, 2014 10:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A gauge of China's manufacturing activity fell to a six-month low in November in a new sign an economic slowdown is deepening. HSBC Corp. said Monday its monthly purchasing managers' index fell to 50.0 from the previous month's 50.4. The index uses a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 show...

Decline Of ME Paper Mills Hurts Middle Class

November 27, 2014 10:08 am | by Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The road to the middle class in Maine might not be paved with paper any longer. The accelerating decline of Maine's once-strong pulp and paper industry is a heavy blow for the state's workforce, which has relied on its mills for steady, well-paying jobs for generations. The latest shot to the...

The Mind-Blowing Scale Of Holiday Hiring

November 26, 2014 1:20 pm | by Adecco | News | Comments

The scale of holiday hiring in the U.S. is truly mind-blowing. Find out more about the 300,000 seasonal hires made just by the five biggest retailers--Macy's, Target, Kohl's, J.C. Penny, and Wal-Mart--the amount of spending on holiday shopping, and the effects on the economy...

3 Reasons Shoppers Will Spend Cautiously This Season

November 26, 2014 12:36 pm | by Anne D'Innocenzio, Christopher Rugaber, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Falling gas prices. Soaring stock market. Unemployment at a six-year-low. All signs point to a successful holiday shopping season. Despite the economic tail winds, though, retailers are finding themselves having to work to get shoppers into stores. Why? Five years into the economic...

White House Veto Threat Puts Business Tax Credits On Ice

November 26, 2014 12:19 pm | by Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The White House is working feverishly to quickly scuttle a congressional effort to permanently renew generous tax breaks for businesses and individuals, saying a plan brewing on Capitol Hill favored corporations over the working class. Speculation on Capitol Hill...

EU Proposes $380B Economy Investment Plan

November 26, 2014 11:52 am | by Raf Casert, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union's executive is proposing a 315-billion euro ($380 billion) investment plan to boost the bloc's flagging economy, a scheme whose success will depend on leveraging 21 billion euros in guarantees and seed money to attract private...

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