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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GOP Senate Hopeful Calls For Corporate Tax Break

June 5, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez pressed for a cut in the corporate tax rate after a tour of textile-maker Polartec. The company has rebounded from a massive fire in 1995 that destroyed the plant, and two subsequent bankruptcies. It now faces new challenges brought on by the decline in defense-related business resulting from the winding down of foreign wars and the automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect in March.

Eurozone Recovery Proves Elusive

June 5, 2013 10:01 am | by Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

Several economic figures for the 17 EU countries that use the euro all showed the same thing Wednesday — there's no sign of a recovery from recession. Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, confirmed that the eurozone's economy as a whole shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter of the year from the previous three-month period, with most sectors declining.

PwC: Average Global Effective Tax Rate On The Rise

June 5, 2013 8:05 am | by PwC | Articles | Comments

There has been a steady upward trend in average effective tax rates (ETR) of industrial products and automotive companies from 2010 (26.1 percent) to 2012 (28.3 percent), despite a reduction in statutory rates of corporate income tax around the world, according to the PwC US 2013 Assessing tax report, a tax rate benchmarking study covering 316 companies across the following industries.

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U.S. Trade Deficit Up 8.5 Percent To $40.3B

June 4, 2013 10:10 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit widened in April, as demand for foreign cars, cell phones and other imported goods outpaced growth in U.S. exports. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the trade gap rose 8.5 percent in April from March to $40.3 billion. Exports increased 1.2 percent to $187.4 billion, the second-highest level on record.

U.S. Auto Sales See Big Gains In May

June 3, 2013 1:53 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

The strong sales are another sign that auto sales will continue to boost the U.S. economy, as consumers replace aging vehicles and businesses invest in trucks as they gain confidence. Builders are buying pickup trucks at a rapid pace as home construction continues to rebound.

U.S. Manufacturing Gauge Sinks To June 2009 Level

June 3, 2013 1:48 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A measure of U.S. manufacturing fell in May to its lowest level since June 2009 as slumping overseas economies and weak business spending reduced new orders and production. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 49 last month from 50.7 in April.

Survey: China Manufacturing Shrank In May

June 3, 2013 9:53 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's manufacturing shrank slightly last month, a report said Monday, adding to signs of an uncertain recovery in the world's second-biggest economy. HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index fell to 49.2 in May. That's down from 50.4 in April. Readings below 50 indicate a contraction.

Global Joblessness To Hit 200M This Year

May 31, 2013 1:48 pm | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Global unemployment will hit 200 million this year, and declarations of intent to tackle the problem will mean nothing without action, says International Labor Organization director general Guy Ryder. And within the next five years, he suspects global joblessness to reach 215 million.

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GM To Show Off Reworked Chevy Malibu

May 31, 2013 1:43 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The Chevrolet Malibu, an also-ran in the popular midsize car segment, shows off a quick makeover Friday that is expected to address criticism of its bland styling and so-so performance. General Motors will unveil the updates at a press event in Detroit. Experts are expecting to see a more modern-looking car, with some additional legroom in the back seat.

Eurozone Unemployment Heading For 20M

May 31, 2013 1:43 pm | by Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

Unemployment across the 17 EU countries that use the euro hit another record high in April — and appears to be on course to hit 20 million this year in what would be another gloomy landmark for the currency bloc. Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, said Friday that the unemployment rate rose to 12.2 percent in April from the previous record of 12.1 percent the month before.

Cheap Leases Offered To Spur Electric Car Sales

May 30, 2013 2:11 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Auto companies are hoping lower lease prices can put a charge into sluggish sales of electric cars. Honda announced Thursday that it's slashing the monthly lease cost of its tiny Fit EV by one third, following similar moves by other automakers. Honda also is throwing in other goodies, such as a free home charging station and unlimited mileage.

OECD: Europe Remains Threat To World Economy

May 29, 2013 2:18 pm | by Greg Keller, Associated Press | News | Comments

The recession in Europe risks hurting the world's economic recovery, a leading international body warned Wednesday. In its half-yearly update, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that protracted economic weakness in Europe "could evolve into stagnation with negative implications for the global economy."

Unemployment Rates Fall In Nearly All U.S. Cities

May 29, 2013 2:16 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates fell in almost all large U.S. cities in April, helped by stronger hiring. The gains show the job market is improving throughout the country. The Labor Department said Wednesday that unemployment rates declined in 344 of the 372 largest metro areas. Rates rose in just 17 cities and were unchanged in 11.

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China Factory Contraction Signals Fragile Recovery

May 29, 2013 1:47 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

China's economy, the third largest economy in the world, shows fresh signs of faltering, with an advance reading of manufacturing output shrinking for the first time in seven months. That may worry trading partners--but not its leaders.

Tesla Shares Hit New All-Time High

May 29, 2013 9:59 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. spiked Tuesday on momentum from last week's stock-and-note offering that raised nearly $1 billion, general market increases, and the prospect of the company announcing a wider network of car charging stations.

Businesses Uncertain Of Future Without Plant

May 28, 2013 1:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Businesses in Paducah are bracing for uncertainty in the wake of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant's expected closure at the end of the month. The shutdown will put more than 1,100 workers out of high-paying jobs with benefits. Kele Sports Depot shop owner Stephen Kelly said the plant has a trickle-down effect economically and the loss of jobs will be felt.

Cheap Energy Will Bring Back U.S. Jobs

May 28, 2013 12:39 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Manufacturing growth in parts of the U.S. is moving at the same rate or better than emerging markets growth, while some parts of the country are still struggling and possibly clouding the picture of growth. Analyst Meredith Whitney says that the flood of cheap, natural gas will ultimately bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

Bridge Collapse A Major Break In Trade Corridor

May 28, 2013 10:17 am | by Donna Gordon Blankinship, Associated Press | News | Comments

For farmers, business owners and government officials up and down the West Coast, Washington's bridge collapse on Interstate 5 represents much more than a close brush with tragedy. As much as $20 billion in freight travels to and from Canada and along the busy north-south corridor each year.

Automaker Tesla Takes Fight To North Carolina

May 28, 2013 10:14 am | by Chris Kardish, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tesla Motors is fighting a bill in North Carolina that would effectively ban the company from selling its electric cars in the state, pitting it against auto dealers who say the car maker has an unfair advantage selling directly to consumers online.

Trailblazing Israeli Electric Car Company To Close

May 28, 2013 10:09 am | by Jpsef Federman, Associated Press | News | Comments

It was an audacious idea that came to symbolize Israel's self-described status as "Start-Up Nation," a company that believed it could replace most gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles and reduce the world's reliance on oil — and all within a few years. But it all came crashing down.

China, Switzerland To Seal Free Trade Deal

May 24, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is in Switzerland to seal a free trade pact with the Alpine nation — the first comprehensive agreement his country has reached with a major western economy. Li met with Swiss officials in Zurich on Friday to conclude three years of negotiations.

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Rise In April

May 24, 2013 2:12 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in April, buoyed by more demand for aircraft and stronger business investment. The gains suggest economic growth may be holding steady this spring. Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose 3.3 percent last month from March, the Commerce Department said Friday.

GM Aims New Chevy Cruze Diesel At VW Jetta

May 24, 2013 2:12 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The marketing people at Chevrolet make no secret of the goal for the new diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze: Take sales from Volkswagen. In fact, they're rolling out the car in 13 markets where VW sells the most diesel versions of its Jetta, another compact.

Chevy Spark To Be Among Lowest-Price Electric Cars

May 23, 2013 12:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co. says the Spark EV subcompact will be among the lowest-priced electric cars in the U.S. The electric Spark will have a starting price of $27,495 when it goes on sale next month in California and Oregon. GM also is offering a low-mileage lease for $199 per month, with $999 due when the lease is signed.

Survey: China Manufacturing Contracting

May 23, 2013 12:10 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A survey shows China's manufacturing contracted this month, adding to signs a fragile recovery in the world's No. 2 economy is slowing. HSBC Corp. said Thursday the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers index fell to a seven-month low of 49.6 from April's 50.4 on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 show a contraction.

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