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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM, Ford, Toyota Feb. Sales Fall

March 3, 2014 1:48 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

America's top three automakers said the month started slowly but sales began to recover in the second half, a sign that fears of a broader auto sales slowdown may be unfounded.                      

Manufacturers Optimistic Overall, But Energy Costs Are Big Concern

March 3, 2014 12:27 pm | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | News | Comments

Like their peers in other sectors, industrial manufacturing CEOs are much less worried about the global economy than last year, although exchange rate volatility and energy costs are still big concerns.             

China Manufacturing Weakens, Economy Cools

March 3, 2014 9:52 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing weakened in February and employers cut staff at the fastest rate in nearly five years, a survey showed Monday, adding to signs growth in the world's second-largest economy is cooling.             

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Chrysler, Nissan Post Big Sales Gains

March 3, 2014 9:48 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Nissan says its sales were up almost 16 percent to just over 115,000 despite repeated winter storms that struck much of the country. Chrysler sales rose 11 percent to nearly 155,000.                    

Economy Expands At 2.4 Pct. Rate In 4Q

February 28, 2014 12:54 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate last quarter, sharply less than first thought, in part because consumers didn't spend as much as initially estimated. Severe winter weather is expected to further slow the economy in the current quarter.

Applications For Jobless Benefits Rise To 348K

February 27, 2014 2:17 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Labor Department says the four-week average was unchanged at 338,250. Applications are a rough proxy for layoffs. The average is not far above pre-recession levels, a sign companies are laying off few workers.            

Durable Goods Orders Fall In January

February 27, 2014 2:13 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

American businesses ordered fewer durable manufactured goods in January, cutting demand for planes, autos, and machines. But a key category that reflects business investment rebounded on the strength of demand for electronics and fabricated metals.

Airbus To Boost Production, Profits Up

February 27, 2014 2:09 pm | by The Association for Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

Europe's largest aerospace group, previously known as EADS, said it would increase production of its best-selling A320 jet family to 46 aircraft a month by the second quarter of 2016 from the current 42, echoing plans by rival Boeing to reach towards 47 a month.

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Analyst Doubles Price Target, Boosts Tesla Shares

February 25, 2014 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. surged 16 percent Tuesday after a Wall Street analyst told investors that Tesla could shake up the electric utility sector as well as the auto industry.                     

French Automakers Seek To Catch Up In China

February 25, 2014 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Their motivation is clear: Europe's auto sales slumped last year to their lowest level since 1995, forcing French brands to join U.S. and European rivals in looking to China to drive revenues. But the timing is awkward.          

Japan Trade Deficit Hits Record $27.4B In January

February 21, 2014 10:08 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan's trade deficit surged to a monthly record of 2.8 trillion yen ($27.4 billion) in January as imports jumped 25 percent, underscoring the challenge the country faces in restoring export-driven growth.              

Coca-Cola CFO To Retire As Cost-Cutting Ramps Up

February 21, 2014 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Longtime Coca-Cola Chief Financial Officer Gary Fayard will retire in May as the company ramps up its cost-cutting efforts. The world's largest drink maker is trying to keep up with shifting consumer tastes as volume declines in North America reached 1 percent in the most recent quarter.

Mexico To Trump Japan As No. 2 Car Exporter To U.S.

February 21, 2014 9:57 am | by Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press | News | Comments

An $800 million Honda plant opening Friday in the central state of Guanajuato will produce about 200,000 Fit hatchbacks a year, helping push total Mexican car exports to the U.S. to 1.7 million in 2014, roughly 200,000 more than Japan, consulting firm IHS Automotive says.

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IHS: 4Q Manufacturing Employment Surges To 4-Year High

February 20, 2014 1:52 pm | by Aparna Soni, Economist, IHS Global Insight | News | Comments

At over 12 million jobs nationwide, manufacturing employment is now the highest it has been since 2009. The sector recovered handsomely from the setbacks it had faced earlier in the second and third quarters and is poised to start the new year on a strong footing.

China's Manufacturing Slows To 7-Month Low

February 20, 2014 9:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's economic activity has slowed steadily as the government tries to reduce reliance on investment in industry and infrastructure and encourage more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption.              

Harsh Winter Puts Small Businesses Out In The Cold

February 19, 2014 2:21 pm | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

This has been the snowiest winter nationally in four years and the coldest in three years, costing businesses of all sizes and their employees an estimated $15 billion that can't be made up, according to research from Planalytics, which analyzes the economic impact of weather.  

Carlsberg: Beer Demand Falling In Europe, Russia

February 19, 2014 10:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Carlsberg says beer sales are likely to fall this year in western Europe and Russia, but continue to grow in Asia. The Copenhagen-based group says its fourth-quarter net sales fell slightly to 15.7 billion kroner ($2.9 billion) as overall beer volumes dropped 3 percent.

Report: Offshoring And Outsourcing A Mixed Bag For U.S. Jobs, Wages

February 19, 2014 10:17 am | by UC Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) | News | Comments

Without solid numbers, many have assumed that most of the offshored jobs go to developing countries where workers are paid near-poverty wages in less than ideal working conditions. However, the researchers said public fear that offshoring to lower-cost countries is putting downward pressure on U.S. jobs may be overblown.

Budget Office: Wage Hike Would Lift Pay, Cost Jobs

February 19, 2014 10:14 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 jobs, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday.

Oreo Maker Mondelez Sees Cookie Troubles In China

February 14, 2014 10:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The company, which also makes Cadbury, Chips Ahoy, Ritz, and Trident gum, said its core revenue for the final three months of the year rose 2.5 percent, primarily as a result of higher volume.                  

Renault Earnings Slashed By Over Half In 2013

February 14, 2014 10:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Renault says its earnings were more than halved last year even as car sales began to rebound, as heavy restructuring costs ate into the French car maker's profits.                          

Cold Weather Causes Factory Output To Drop

February 14, 2014 10:27 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Harsh winter weather led to a steep drop in U.S. factory output in January. Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture, and carpeting, as the recent cold spell ended five straight months of increased production.      

U.S. Businesses Boost Inventories As Sales Slow

February 13, 2014 4:29 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. businesses restocked their shelves and warehouses at a faster pace in December, but sales slowed, a cautionary sign for the economy. The Commerce Department says inventories rose 0.5 percent after a 0.4 percent increase in November. Sales growth fell to just 0.1 percent, from 0.7 percent in November.

Industrial Manufacturing Deal Activity Picks Up In Second Half Of 2013

February 13, 2014 11:30 am | by PwC US | News | Comments

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the industrial manufacturing sector increased in the second half of 2013, with a 20 percent uptick in activity in the final six months of the year compared to the first half, according to Assembling Value, an annual analysis of global deal activity in the industrial manufacturing industry by PwCUS.

U.S. Cutting Tool Consumption Down 11.7 Pct. In December

February 12, 2014 2:12 pm | by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

December U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $138 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total was down 11.7 percent from November’s total and down 3.9 percent from December 2012.

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