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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

With No Jobs Report, What's An Economist To Do?

October 4, 2013 1:05 pm | by Paul Wiseman, Scott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

The latest victims of the government's partial shutdown: policy wonks, politicians and TV talking heads who are losing their monthly opportunity to dissect the jobs report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It happens the first Friday of the month at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. Except this Friday.

Employers Add Fewer Jobs

October 3, 2013 2:11 pm | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Amid the Washington shut down that furloughed nearly a million government workers, the private sector isn't doing much better. U.S. companies added just 166,000 jobs last month, which is fewer than economists had expected. Analysts say the softer numbers have renewed worries on Wall Street.

Porsche Boxster S: One Fun Driver's Car

October 2, 2013 4:15 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The new Porsche Boxster S is a fast, fun, driver-centric car. This car pays attention to how someone who truly likes to drive would like the cockpit set up, and it's especially responsive to the driver around corners. This car responds just like the driver thinks it should, and is like an extension of the driver's body, says this test driver.

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U.S. Companies Add 166,000 Jobs In September

October 2, 2013 2:23 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. businesses added just 166,000 jobs in September, only slightly more than the previous two months. The lack of improvement in hiring, along with the threat of a prolonged government shutdown, could help persuade the Federal Reserve to delay scaling back its stimulus.

Hyundai To Defer Payments For Federal Workers

October 2, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hyundai is offering to defer new-car payments for 800,000 workers who have been furloughed due to the partial U.S. government shutdown. The company says workers who buy or lease cars this month won't have to make payments until January. Those who already own a Hyundai financed through the company won't have to make payments until they go back to work.

U.S. Manufacturing Expands At Best Pace In 2½ Years

October 2, 2013 10:08 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

US factory activity expanded last month at the fastest pace in 2 ½ years, an encouraging sign that manufacturing could lift economic growth and hiring in the coming months. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index rose in September to 56.2, the highest since April 2011.

U.S. Businesses Worry About A Prolonged Shutdown

October 2, 2013 10:06 am | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, Scott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

As the government's partial shutdown enters a second day, most companies across the country are doing business as usual. Yet concern is rising that a prolonged shutdown would cause some work at private companies to dry up and consumers to lose faith in the U.S. economy.

BlackBerry Says Rework Costs Have Quadrupled

October 2, 2013 10:04 am | by David Friend, The Canadian Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry says the cost of reworking its operations will likely be four times as much as it estimated earlier this year and may turn out to be even be higher than that. According to financial report documents filed with regulators, the smartphone maker expects to book US$400 million in charges from a variety of factors before the end of May 2014.

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New Report: U.S. Trade Deficit With China Costing $37B In Lost Wages Annually

October 1, 2013 3:30 pm | News | Comments

A new study by the Economic Policy Institute finds that a growing trade deficit with China has cost the U.S. billions of dollars in lost wages. In 2011 alone, unbalanced trade with the People’s Republic resulted in lost U.S. wages of $37.0 billion. The EPI study cites 2.7 million U.S. jobs lost between 2001 and 2011 due to the trade gap with China, and over 2.1 million of those jobs were in the manufacturing sector. 

GM, Toyota, VW Sales Stall Out In September

October 1, 2013 2:13 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Sales fell at General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen in September, an odd month that appears likely to snap a 27-month streak of gains for the American auto industry. But Ford and Chrysler appeared to have outperformed the industry, with sales on the rise.

American Crystal Sugar To Default On USDA Loan

October 1, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

American Crystal Sugar will default on a government loan of $71.2 million under a program that provides relief when a glut of sugar on the market depresses prices. David Berg, the company's president and CEO, said that forfeiting the sugar put up as collateral was the best option, given the very low prices that sugar is fetching.

Government Shutdown Begins

October 1, 2013 10:18 am | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press | News | Comments

Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a protracted dispute over President Barack Obama's signature health care law reached a boiling point, forcing some 800,000 federal workers off the job. Obama readied a midday statement to the nation as Democrats and Republicans maintained a blame-each-other duel on Capitol Hill.

Eurozone Unemployment 'May Have Peaked'

October 1, 2013 10:10 am | by Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

The eurozone's labor market appears to have stabilized, official figures indicated Tuesday, another sign that the eurozone economy is recovering from its longest-ever recession. Though Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said the unemployment rate across the 17-member eurozone held steady at 12 percent in August, it found the number of people out of work fell for the third month running.

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Global Study: World Not Ready For Aging Population

September 30, 2013 2:17 pm | by Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press | News | Comments

The world is aging so fast that most countries are not prepared to support their swelling numbers of elderly people, according to a global study going out Tuesday by the United Nations and an elder rights group. The report ranks the social and economic well-being of elders in 91 countries, with Sweden coming out on top and Afghanistan at the bottom.

Shutdown And Debt Ceiling Loom Large

September 30, 2013 1:49 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The sequester and forced budget cuts have been squeezing budgets and sending home federal workers all year. Now, October is a key month as the federal government has been unable to pass a budget or raise the debt ceiling. The consequences of failing to do either could be damaging to the economy. 

Photo Of The Day: Car Buffs And Vintage Chevys

September 30, 2013 10:25 am | by Grant Schulte, Associated Press | News | Comments

A handful of barely driven vintage Chevrolets fetched more than half a million dollars on Saturday at an auction that drew thousands of car buffs from around the world to a small northeast Nebraska town. Bidders and gawkers crowded shoulder-to-shoulder for the auction in a muddy field just west of Pierce, a town of about 1,800. 

China Manufacturing Growth Slower Than Expected

September 30, 2013 10:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese manufacturing activity ticked up more slowly than expected in September. A survey by HSBC Corp. released Monday showed that manufacturing activity in the world's No. 2 economy expanded slightly this month, rising to 50.2 from August's 50.1. The index uses a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 indicate contraction.

5 Quick Questions: BRIC Deceleration

September 30, 2013 8:02 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

A closer look at the factors contributing to slowing growth rates in Brazil, Russia, India and China offers insight on the next collection of emerging markets, as well as the established economies picking up the pace. For quite some time the subset of countries known as the BRICs have been the primary targets of U.S. manufacturers looking for either less expensive production settings or a new market in which to grow.

Toyota Exec: Pent-Up Demand For New Cars Will End

September 27, 2013 2:17 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The boom in sales of new cars in the U.S. has been fueled by consumers replacing vehicles they kept through the recession. But a top auto industry executive says that the pent-up demand likely will be satisfied by late next year. Jim Lentz, Toyota's North American CEO, said demand for new cars from owners of older models could dry up sometime late in 2014. 

BlackBerry Posts Loss, Steep Revenue Drop For 2Q

September 27, 2013 2:10 pm | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry said Friday that it is committed to completing a series of major changes quickly after posting a nearly billion-dollar loss and a 45 percent drop in revenue for the second quarter. The troubled smartphone company reported a loss of $965 million and revenue of $1.6 billion, in line with what it warned when it surprised the market by releasing dismal earnings projections last week and announcing 4,500 layoffs.

Ahead Of Talks, Feds Find Millions For Broke Detroit

September 27, 2013 10:11 am | by Corey Williams, Associated Press | News | Comments

The federal fingerprint in efforts to fix Detroit is growing larger as the Obama administration has found millions of dollars in grant money to help the bankrupt city hire more police and firefighters, and clear out blighted neighborhoods. But considering the Motor City is at least $18B in debt, it will take a far larger infusion of cash or historic deals with bond holders, insurance companies and other creditors to correct the problem.

Japan Car Parts Makers In Price-Fixing Plea

September 26, 2013 2:29 pm | by Pete Yost, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nine Japanese auto parts manufacturers and two of their executives will plead guilty and pay $740 million in criminal fines for conspiring to fix the prices of more than 30 products sold to many of the world's largest automakers operating in the U.S., the Justice Department announced Thursday.

U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Near 6-Year Low

September 26, 2013 2:27 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 305,000, the second-lowest level in six years. Steady declines in applications show that very few companies are laying off workers. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average declined 7,000 to 308,000, the lowest since June 2007.

Gov't Sells More GM Shares, Cuts Stake To 7 Percent

September 26, 2013 2:25 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. government is starting another phase of selling off its General Motors stock after cutting its stake in the automaker to just over 7 percent. The Treasury Department says it still owns 101.3 million GM shares. It got 912 million shares, a 60.8 percent stake in the company, in exchange for a $49.5 billion bailout of GM in 2009.

IN Industrial Space In High Demand

September 25, 2013 2:30 pm | by Joseph S. Pete, The Times | News | Comments

The amount of vacant space in northwestern Indiana warehouses, factories and business parks has sunk to the lowest level in more than two decades. The region's industrial vacancy rate has fallen to 7.24 percent, one of the lowest rates that market has seen, according to a commercial real estate organization. The rate has been steadily dropping from its peak of 12.1 percent at the end of 2009.

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