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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Stock markets have sunk after signs of weaker growth in the United States, Europe, and China. Turmoil in developing countries has further spooked investors. The upheaval has renewed doubts about the Federal Reserve's next steps.
The U.S. trade deficit increased in December after hitting a four-year low in November. But for the year, the deficit fell to its lowest point since 2009 as exports rose to an all-time high.
Ingersoll-Rand plc said Wednesday that it is increasing its quarterly dividend by 19 percent and announced a $1.5 billion share repurchase program. Shares of the Irish industrial and commercial products maker jumped in trading in reaction.
Payroll processor ADP says companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That's down from 227,000 in December, which was revised lower. But it was much better than the government's official figure of just 74,000 new jobs in December.
U.S. manufacturers saw orders for their products decline in December by the largest amount in five months although the setback for a key category that tracks business investment was not as large as first reported.
“While U.S. manufacturing continued its growth into the new year, survey data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the pace of factory activity slowed considerably. The overall Index fell by 5.2 percentage points from 56.5 in December to 51.3 in January, still signaling overall output advances but at a far more muted pace."
U.S. stocks fell sharply in afternoon trading Monday, pushing down the Dow Jones industrial average more than 260 points as investors worried about reports of sluggish growth in the U.S. economy. The decline adds to losses racked up by the market in January.
Frigid temperatures and snowy weather generally kept buyers away from auto showrooms last month, with Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen all reporting declines from a year ago. But Chrysler, Nissan, and Subaru dealers were smiling because sales were up for all three brands.
U.S. manufacturing barely expanded last month as factories cut back sharply on production, and new orders plunged. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 51.3 in January from 56.5 in the previous month.
Americans increased their spending at a solid pace for the second straight month in December even though their income was flat. Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in December, compared with November when spending had increased an even stronger 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday.