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2014 U.S. Economy Began Shaky, Finished Strong

December 29, 2014 | by Josh Boak, The Associated Press | Comments

More than five years removed from the Great Recession, worries had taken hold at the start of the year that perhaps the world's largest economy had slid into a semi-permanent funk. But consumers, businesses and investors, after enduring a brutal winter, showed renewed vigor as the year wore on and set the United States apart from much of the world.

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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Tesla Upgrades Roadster car for More Efficiency

December 29, 2014 9:53 am | by The Associated Press

Tesla said improvements it is making to its older Roadster model will let the electric car travel about 400 miles on a single charge.                                 

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MO Becomes First State to See Average Gas Price Below $2

December 29, 2014 9:43 am | by The Associated Press

Missouri became the first state Friday to have an average statewide gas price fall below $2 per gallon since 2009, while Oklahoma's average was expected to drop below that threshold sometime over the weekend, according to AAA.       

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MI's Population Creeping Up as Autos Recover

December 29, 2014 9:35 am | by David N. Goodman, The Associated Press

After years of declining population, industrial Michigan finally seems to be on track toward growth again, the state's demographer says.                                 

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Key Decisions on Drones Likely From Congress

December 29, 2014 9:30 am | by Joan Lowy, The Associated Press

The Obama administration is on the verge of proposing long-awaited rules for commercial drone operations in U.S. skies, but key decisions on how much access to grant drones are likely to come from Congress next year.         

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Berryville Company To Help Upgrade Iconic Handgun

December 29, 2014 9:20 am | by John Magsam, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Custom gun-maker Wilson Combat is teaming up with Beretta USA to produce an upgraded version of an iconic military handgun.                                     

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Prosecutors Not to Indict Executives in Fukushima Disaster

December 26, 2014 1:51 pm | by The Associated Press

Japanese prosecutors are expected not to indict three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. on charges of professional negligence resulting in deaths and injuries over the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, sources familiar with the matter said.

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Auto Industry Acts Globally Except on Recalls

December 26, 2014 1:45 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press

When it comes to making and selling cars, the auto industry thinks and acts globally: There is near-seamless coordination between parts suppliers, factories and dealerships. But when an unsafe car needs to be recalled, that global coordination breaks down.

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More 'Help Wanted' Signs up at Small Businesses

December 26, 2014 1:39 pm | by Joyce Rosenberg, The Associated Press

If you're looking for signs that the U.S. economy is growing and that the job market is improving, just talk to small business owners.                                 

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Flying High: Airstream Can't Keep up With Demand

December 26, 2014 1:35 pm | by Mitch Stacy, The Associated Press

Not only are the retro-looking "silver bullet" Airstream travel-trailers still being built by hand at the same western Ohio site that has produced them for 60 years, but the company also can't roll them out of there fast enough to meet the demand these days.

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Natural Gas Down 29 Percent in One Month

December 26, 2014 10:00 am | by Jonathan Fahey, The Associated Press

The price of natural gas has dropped 29 percent in a month, to $3.17 per 1,000 cubic feet on Tuesday from nearly $4.50 in late November. That's a steep drop even for a fuel notorious for volatile price swings.           

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Honda Recalls Vehicles for Faulty Air Bags

December 26, 2014 9:48 am | by The Associated Press

Honda is recalling 1,252 Crosstour vehicles due to a faulty side air bag made by troubled air bag supplier Takata.                                       

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Applications for U.S. Jobless Aid Fall to 7-week low

December 26, 2014 9:41 am | by Josh Boak, The Associated Press

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits has reached its lowest level in seven weeks, a sign that the U.S. economy and job market are steadily improving.                       

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Japan's Top 3 Carmakers Cut Domestic Production in Nov

December 26, 2014 9:34 am | by The Associated Press

Japan's top three carmakers reported weaker domestic production for November, as the lingering impact of the consumption tax hike in April dented sales and their strategy to build more vehicles overseas led to reduced exports in the month.   

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MAPI Analysis on Durable Goods Drop

December 26, 2014 9:30 am | by Daniel J. Meckstroth, Vice President, Chief Economist, MAPI

The Census Bureau reports that new orders for durable goods in November fell 0.7%, following 0.3% growth in October and 0.7% decline in September.                             

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Air Bag Maker Takata Shuffles Top Management

December 26, 2014 9:23 am | by The Associated Press

Takata Corp., the Japanese maker of air bags at the center of massive recalls in the U.S. and elsewhere, said Wednesday that it was reshuffling its top executives, who plan to take pay cuts in response to the crisis.         

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U.S. Consumer Sentiment At Highest Point In 8 Years

December 23, 2014 12:29 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

U.S. consumers are more optimistic about the economy than at any other time in the past eight years, buoyed by more jobs and falling gas prices, a survey finds.                         

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Keurig Issues Recall Due To Reported Injuries

December 23, 2014 12:26 pm | by The Associated Press

Keurig is recalling some 7 million of single-serve coffee brewing machines because of reported burns.                                           

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U.S. Orders For Durable Goods Fall In November

December 23, 2014 12:20 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer

U.S. factory orders for long-lasting manufactured goods slumped in November, largely due to falling demand in the military and defense sectors.                               

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CCL Label DES Expanding Laurens County Manufacturing Facility

December 23, 2014 12:18 pm | by S.C. Department of Commerce

A world leader in the development of label and specialty packaging solutions for global producers of consumer brands is expanding its manufacturing operations in Laurens County, S.C.                   

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U.S. Economy Grew At Fast Rate In Q3

December 23, 2014 11:18 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

The U.S. economy grew at a sizzling 5 percent annual rate in the July-September period, the fastest in more than a decade, on the strength of consumer spending and business investment.                   

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