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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Grim U.S. Economic Picture Is Brightening

June 24, 2014 2:18 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writers | News | Comments

Solid hiring, growth in manufacturing and surging auto sales have lifted the economy at a steady if still-unspectacular pace.                                

Consumer Confidence Reaches 6-Year High

June 24, 2014 11:29 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

More Americans are optimistic about business conditions and the outlook for jobs, though they're less confident that their incomes will grow.                   

Japan Aims To Restore Cutting Edge

June 24, 2014 10:18 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press | News | Comments

The plan includes dozens of proposed changes to labor regulations, government pension fund investments, corporate governance and tax policies that Abe says are needed to spur corporate investment and innovation.             

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Vermont Trying To Keep 4,000 IBM Jobs

June 24, 2014 8:07 am | by Wilson Ring, Associated Press | News | Comments

The head of the economic development organization in Vermont's largest county made a series of recommendations Monday for the state to help protect the 4,000 jobs at the IBM electronics plant in Essex Junction.         

Mass. Group Withdraws Minimum Wage Ballot Question

June 23, 2014 2:34 pm | by Bob Salsberg, Associated Press | News | Comments

A group that supports a higher state minimum wage has ended its bid for a November ballot question, saying it was no longer necessary now that lawmakers had approved a bill that would give Massachusetts the highest minimum wage among states by 2017.

China Factory Gauge Shows Economy Stabilizing

June 23, 2014 12:03 pm | News | Comments

Factory activity in China expanded in June for the first time this year, according to an HSBC report Monday, adding to signs that the slowdown in the No. 2 economy is stabilizing as recent micro boosting measures take hold.      

UN Assembly Links Environment, Economics

June 23, 2014 10:31 am | by Jason Straziuso, Associated Press | News | Comments

The first-ever United Nations Environmental Assembly is underway in Nairobi, Kenya, where more than 150 high-level delegations are addressing environmental sustainability challenges.                   

China Expands Investment In U.S., Creates Jobs

June 23, 2014 8:17 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

After decades of siphoning jobs from the United States, China is creating some. Chinese companies invested a record $14 billion in the United States last year, according to the Rhodium Group research firm. Collectively, they employ more than 70,000 Americans, up from virtually none a decade ago.

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Factory Growth Fastest In 9 Months In Philly Area

June 20, 2014 8:38 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region expanded at a faster pace in June for the fourth straight month, led by more new orders and greater hiring.                  

Manufacturing.net Rewind: Workers Kill CEO; Chinese Spyware Phone

June 19, 2014 2:16 pm | News | Comments

Check out some of this week's top headlines from across Manufacturing.net, from Indian factory workers killing the CEO over a dispute about work hours to a Chinese-made phone that comes with spyware.          

Minimum Wage Debate Pits Cities Against States

June 19, 2014 2:05 pm | by David Klepper and Blake Davis, Associated Press | News | Comments

In many states, the efforts are opposed by state officials concerned that local minimum wages could create a confusing patchwork of wage rules. Opponents also say higher wages could force businesses to cut jobs or raise prices.       

Gauge Of U.S. Economy Gains In May

June 19, 2014 12:05 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A gauge designed to predict the economy's future health increased for a fourth month in May, providing further evidence that the economy is gaining strength after a harsh winter caused activity to go into reverse.           

Mass. House Passes Minimum Wage Compromise

June 19, 2014 10:27 am | by Bob Salsberg, Associated Press | News | Comments

Massachusetts moved closer to instituting the nation's highest minimum wage among states under a bill approved Wednesday by the state House of Representatives.               

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Fewer Americans Apply For Jobless Aid

June 19, 2014 9:29 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, as the number of people collecting jobless aid fell to its lowest level in more than six years.                    

Japan Logs 23rd Month Of Trade Deficit

June 19, 2014 8:08 am | News | Comments

Japan logged its 23rd successive month of trade deficits in May, as exports and imports both declined despite signs of recovering demand in the U.S. and Europe.                

Fed Sharply Cuts U.S. Economic Growth Forecast

June 19, 2014 7:47 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Federal Reserve has sharply cut its forecast for U.S. growth this year, reflecting a shrinking economy last quarter caused mostly by harsh weather.                 

Current Account Deficit Jumps From 14-Year Low

June 18, 2014 8:48 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A drop in U.S. exports and lower income from overseas investments drove the U.S. current account deficit to its highest level in 18 months.                   

Obama Says He Will Build Up Manufacturing

June 18, 2014 8:06 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

Surrounded by an array of gadgets and high tech equipment, Obama pledged to boost American manufacturing and to give entrepreneurs greater access to production tools that would help bring their ideas to fruition.         

MAPI Quarterly U.S. Industrial Outlook: Accelerating Growth Ahead

June 17, 2014 11:50 am | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

The report offers economic forecasts for 23 of the 27 industries. MAPI anticipates that 20 industries will show gains in 2014, 2 will remain flat, and just paper production will decline.                   

CEOs More Optimistic On Hiring, Sales

June 17, 2014 11:27 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Optimism among chief executives of large U.S. companies has reached a two-year high, driven by greater optimism about hiring and sales.                    

Consumer Prices Rise In May

June 17, 2014 11:00 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. consumer prices increased in May by the largest amount in more than a year as the cost of food and gasoline showed big gains and airline fares jumped by the largest amount in 15 years.           

Administration, Allies Pushing For Minimum Wage Hike

June 17, 2014 7:53 am | by Tom Raum, Associated Press | News | Comments

The increase has been a top second-term political priority for the president and his allies in Congress, but it is stalled in the Republican-led House of Representatives.              

MAPI: Factory Output Numbers Show 'Solid Footing'

June 16, 2014 11:20 am | News | Comments

The report is a very positive confirmation that the manufacturing sector will continue to grow faster than the general economy this year and next. Growth is driven by a ramping up of the housing supply chain.              

IMF Lowers U.S. Economic Growth Estimate

June 16, 2014 9:59 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The International Monetary Fund foresees the U.S. economy growing a modest 2 percent this year, below its previous estimate of 2.7 percent.                   

Factory Output Rebounds In May

June 16, 2014 9:26 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturing output rose in May after in shrinking in April, led by greater production of autos, computers and furniture.                     

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