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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows To $43B In February

April 5, 2013 9:42 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in February as exports climbed close to an all-time high and the volume of imported crude oil fell to the lowest level in 17 years. The gap between exports and imports shrank to $43 billion in February, down 3.4 percent from January's revised $44.5 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Boeing: 1Q Deliveries Unchanged From Year Ago

April 5, 2013 9:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co. said Thursday that it delivered 137 commercial planes during the first quarter, the same as a year earlier, and it booked orders for 209 more planes. The deliveries included 102 of its 737s, up from 99 a year ago. Boeing has been speeding deliveries of those planes. It's Boeing's smallest commercial plane and in the U.S. is generally used on domestic routes.

Equipment, Software Investment To Grow In 2013

April 3, 2013 12:26 pm | by Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation | News | Comments

 Investment in equipment and software is expected to grow 5.6 percent in 2013, according to the Q2 update to the 2013 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook released today by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation. 

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U.S. Factory Orders Up 3 Percent In February

April 2, 2013 2:23 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories rose sharply in February from January on a surge in volatile demand for commercial aircraft. The gain offset a drop in key orders that signal business investment. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders increased 3 percent in February. That's up from a 1 percent decline in January and the biggest gain in five months.

Automakers See Best March In Six Years

April 2, 2013 2:18 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

March is turning out to be the best month for auto sales in at least six years. Major automakers including Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, General Motors and Nissan all reported increases, with some reporting their best monthly totals since the start of the Great Recession in December of 2007.

Why Global Carmakers Are Feeling Good

April 2, 2013 1:37 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The auto market is up, the worldwide economic recovery continues, and auto manufacturers seem to be doing well. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says there is "much more excitement" thanks to profits in the auto industry despite the bad economy in Europe.

Chrysler U.S. Sales Up 5 Percent In March

April 2, 2013 10:20 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Chrysler's U.S. sales rose 5 percent in March as the company sold more cars and trucks than in any month since the Great Recession began in December of 2007. The strong numbers are another sign that Americans are buying cars in increasing numbers as their financial situation improves.

Euro Area Unemployment At Record 12 Percent

April 2, 2013 10:17 am | by Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

The eurozone economy has passed another bleak milestone. Official figures Tuesday showed that unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has struck 12 percent for the first time since the currency was launched in 1999.

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Camry Battles Spruced-Up Rivals In Midsize Market

April 1, 2013 2:01 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

For nearly two decades, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord have ruled the mid-sized car market. Nobody accused them of being stylish or fast. But the cars rarely broke down, and they held their value better than competitors. For drivers who wanted a family car, Camry and Accord got the job done and were good enough to become two of the best-selling cars of all time.

Survey: U.S. Manufacturing Grew Slowly In March

April 1, 2013 1:59 pm | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A survey shows U.S. manufacturing activity expanded more slowly in March than February, held back by weaker growth in production and new orders. But factories hired at the fastest pace in nine months, an encouraging sign ahead of Friday's report on March employment.

3D Printing Stocks: Fad Or For Real?

April 1, 2013 12:44 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

3D printing is a very hot sector, but is there a way for investors to play this trend? Turns out, there is. Recent IPO ExOne reported sales that topped forecasts, lifting shares of it and rivals 3D Systems and Stratsys. But this is still a new and risky market.

China's Manufacturing Growth Improves In March

April 1, 2013 9:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Growth in China's manufacturing picked up in March in a potentially positive sign for the recovery in the world's second-largest economy. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Monday that its Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.9 in March from 50.1 in February, which was the lowest reading in five months.

Japan Jobless Rate Up; Prices, Manufacturing Fall

March 29, 2013 2:05 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan's jobless rate edged higher and industrial production fell slightly in February as consumer prices also fell, underscoring the fragility of the recovery of the world's third-largest economy. The government data released Friday showed the main consumer price index fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier as deflation continued.

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RIM Sees 4Q Success, But Too Early To Declare A Win

March 29, 2013 10:07 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

Research In Motion Ltd., once written off as dead amid fierce competition from more modern mobile devices such as the iPhone, surprised Wall Street Thursday by returning to profitability and shipping more BlackBerry 10 phones than expected in the most recent quarter.

VW's U.S. Chief Expects Sales To Keep Growing

March 27, 2013 2:03 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Volkswagen Group of America expects U.S. sales to keep growing for the next five years, although its chief executive is tempering expectations a little. The group has seen blistering growth in the U.S. since 2007, when it set lofty goals for sales of the Volkswagen, Audi and Bentley brands.

Housing, Manufacturing Give U.S. Economy A Lift

March 27, 2013 10:10 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Gains in housing and manufacturing propelled the U.S. economy over the winter, according to reports released Tuesday, and analysts say they point to the resilience of consumers and businesses as government spending cuts kick in. Demand for longer-lasting factory goods jumped 5.7 percent in February, the biggest increase in five months.

Valve Shipments To Grow 3 Percent In 2013

March 27, 2013 10:00 am | by Valve Manufacturers Association | News | Comments

Shipments for the U.S. industrial valve industry will grow 3 percent in 2013, increasing to nearly $4.3 billion, according to figures released by the Valve Manufacturers Association as part of its annual market forecast. The increase marks the fourth consecutive year of growth following the recession, and exceeds the industry’s previous 10-year peak in 2008.

Boeing Shares Hit Multiyear High After 787 Flight

March 26, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Boeing Co. climbed to a multiyear high Tuesday after the company reported a smooth test flight of its new 787 passenger jet and the U.S. government reported that a surge in commercial aircraft sales lifted durable goods orders. Boeing shares rose $1.67, or 2 percent, to $86.52 in midday trading after hitting a high of $86.84 earlier in the session.

Hawaiian Airlines Signs Aircraft Purchase Deal

March 26, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hawaiian Airlines said it has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus to buy 16 new planes as part of a plan for expanded routes between the islands and the West Coast. The Hawaiian Holdings Inc. unit said the deal comes after the airline reached key labor agreements with its pilot and flight attendant unions on the new single-aisle A321neo planes.

U.S. Business Investment Orders Drop In February

March 26, 2013 9:44 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. orders for long-lasting goods that signal business investment plans fell in February by the largest amount in seven months, although the decline followed a strong month in January and may prove to be a temporary setback. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders for so-called core capital goods declined 2.7 percent in February from January.

Solar Company Shares Down On JA Solar 4Q Loss

March 26, 2013 9:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of a number of solar companies sank Monday after JA Solar Holdings Co.'s fourth-quarter loss widened because of weak global demand for solar products. Solar panel prices have tumbled since the Chinese government pushed hundreds of small players into the industry.

Zero Hope For BlackBerry?

March 25, 2013 1:32 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Shares of BlackBerry, the company formerly known as Research In Motion, plunged after the lackluster U.S. launch of its new Z10 smartphone and the stock was downgraded by Goldman Sachs. Blackberry stock has been volatile over the last few weeks, and the new phone doesn't seem to be helping.

AK Steel Projects Larger-Than-Expected 1Q Loss

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AK Steel Holding Corp. on Friday projected a larger-than-expected first-quarter loss, saying that a previously expected seasonal increase in spot demand for steel hasn't materialized. The West Chester, Ohio based company produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products for a range of industries, including automotive, construction and infrastructure, manufacturing and electricity.

Dell Deal May Soon Face Competition

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Is Michael Dell's attempt to gain more control over his company about to turn into a financial tug-of-war? The answer could come Friday. That's the end of a 45-day period that Dell Inc.'s board of directors set to allow for offers that might top a Feb. 5 deal to sell the personal computer maker to CEO Michael Dell and a group of investors for $24.4 billion.

Caterpillar Reports Slowdown In Sales

March 21, 2013 1:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Caterpillar Inc. said Wednesday that global sales of its heavy equipment fell 13 percent for the three-month rolling period that ended in February, hurt by a steep drop in Asia Pacific demand. That followed a 4 percent decrease for the three months that ended in January and a 1 percent slide for the three months that ended in December, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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