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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Trade Deficit at 2-Year High

June 4, 2014 1:07 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit jumped to a two-year high in April, as sales of exports declined and imports surged to a record high.                                    

Factory Orders Up for Third Month

June 3, 2014 1:34 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories rose for a third consecutive month in April, pushed higher by a surge in demand for military hardware. But a key category that signals business investment plans fell.                  

China Manufacturing Continues To Grow

June 2, 2014 1:59 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese manufacturing grew for the third consecutive month in May, suggesting a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy is stabilizing, a state-sanctioned industry group said Sunday.                 

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U.S. Economy Shrinks at 1 Percent Rate in 1Q

May 29, 2014 1:31 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economy was battered even more than first suspected by the harsh winter, actually shrinking from January through March.                                    

Applications for Jobless Aid Near 7-Year Low

May 29, 2014 9:55 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to nearly the lowest level in seven years, a sign hiring may be picking up.                               

Consumer Confidence Moves Up in May

May 28, 2014 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. consumers were slightly more confident in the economy in May than in April, partly because of strengthening optimism about future hiring and income gains.                          

Median CEO Pay for Large Companies Crosses $10M in 2013

May 27, 2014 1:46 pm | by Ken Sweet, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The median pay package for a CEO rose above eight figures for the first time last year. The head of a typical large public company earned a record $10.5 million, an increase of 8.8 percent from 2012.                

Durable Goods Orders up in April

May 27, 2014 9:33 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods advanced for a third month in April, but much of the strength came from a big surge in demand for military aircraft.                       

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Gauge of U.S. Economy Rises in April

May 22, 2014 11:55 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A gauge designed to predict the economy's future health posted a solid gain in April, further evidence of stronger growth after a severe winter dampened activity.                          

Chinese Manufacturing Rebounds to 5-Month High

May 22, 2014 9:23 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing contraction eased in May, suggesting the slowdown in the world's second biggest economy is stabilizing.                                    

Unemployment Rates Fall in Nearly All U.S. States

May 16, 2014 1:51 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Unemployment rates fell in nearly all U.S. states last month, and half the states now have rates below 6 percent. The figures are a sign of widespread, if slow, improvement in the nation's job market.               

Fallout From Russian Sanctions Hits U.S. Companies

May 16, 2014 1:36 pm | by USA Today | Videos | Comments

The economic sanctions levied against Russia for its involvement in Ukraine has taken a bite out of the profits of some U.S. companies that do business in Russia.                         

Mich. Senate Votes to Raise Minimum Wage

May 16, 2014 1:32 pm | by Emma Fidel, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Michigan Senate approved raising the state's minimum wage to $9.20 an hour from $7.40 in a compromise that some supporters hope will pre-empt a ballot drive to raise it to $10.10.                    

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Fewest Americans in 7 Years Seek Unemployment Benefits

May 15, 2014 2:28 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven years last week, a sign the job market is steadily improving.                              

U.S. Factory Output Retreats in April

May 15, 2014 2:17 pm | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factory output took a breather in April after two months of strong growth, as manufacturers produced less furniture, machinery and plastics.                               

Consumer Prices Rise by Most in 10 Months

May 15, 2014 2:10 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Higher food and gas costs pushed up U.S. consumer prices in April by the most in 10 months, evidence that inflation is ticking up from very low levels.                             

Sony Quarterly Losses Sink To $1.3B

May 14, 2014 1:25 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sony Corp. sank to a 138 billion yen ($1.3 billion) quarterly loss, hit by costs from selling its personal computer business, and is forecasting more red ink as it struggles to execute a long-promised turnaround.            

U.S. Producer Prices Up In April

May 14, 2014 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The prices U.S. companies receive for their goods and services rose by the most in seven months in April, led by more expensive food and higher retail and wholesale profit margins.            

Frozen Food Group Fights Lagging Sales

May 12, 2014 2:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Frozen food makers plan to launch their first national TV ad in defense of their products on Tuesday as the category fights to boost slipping sales.                              

Chrysler Reports $690M 1Q Loss

May 12, 2014 1:35 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler Group lost $690 million in the first quarter due to charges related to its merger with Italian automaker Fiat SpA.                                      

Nissan Profit Up as Sales Outpace Industry

May 12, 2014 9:49 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Nissan's quarterly profit edged up nearly 5 percent as sales grew around the world and a favorable exchange rate helped earnings.                                    

Wholesale Stockpiles Rise in March

May 9, 2014 2:01 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in March by the largest amount in five months while sales increased at the fastest clip in 10 months.                            

McDonald's Reports Flat April U.S. Sales

May 9, 2014 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

McDonald's says a key sales metric was flat in April in the U.S., as the world's largest hamburger chain worked to fend off competitors and improve service in its restaurants.                      

Chinese Auto Sales Rebound In April

May 9, 2014 9:21 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Passenger vehicle sales rose 11.6 percent to 1.6 million vehicles. That was up from March's 7.9 percent growth.                                        

U.S. Productivity Falls In 1Q

May 7, 2014 2:02 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The falling productivity coupled with a slight increase in hourly compensation led to labor costs rising 4.2 percent in the first quarter.                                

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