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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
General Motors will sell $4.5 billion in bonds to reduce debts owed to union-run trusts that pay health care bills for the company's U.S. and Canadian retirees. The company said Tuesday that it will spend $3.2 billion from the bond sale to buy 120 million shares of GM preferred stock from a U.S. trust that provides health care to retired members of the United Auto Workers union.
Companies placed slightly more orders in August for U.S. long-lasting manufactured goods, stepping up demand for cars, trucks and machinery. Even with the gain, business spending on factory goods may not be strong enough to accelerate economic growth in the July-September quarter.
Airbus is predicting that the number of jet planes around the world will double in the next 20 years, largely to satisfy demand in emerging markets, particularly China. At a press briefing in London, where it unveiled its market forecasts for the period up to 2032, the European plane maker said air traffic will grow 4.7 percent annually.
BlackBerry has agreed to sell itself for $4.7 billion to a group led by largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. BlackBerry said Monday that a letter of intent has been signed and its shareholders will receive $9 in cash for each share. But while the smartphone maker has agreed to a takeover bid, its struggles are far from over.