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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Apple Sells 2M iPhone 5s In China In First 3 Days

December 17, 2012 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple said Monday that it sold more than 2 million iPhone 5s in China in their first three days of availability, setting a record for that market. The iPhone 5, which launched in China on Friday, will be available in more than 100 countries by the end of December.

Forecast 2013: Manufacturing Market Outlook

December 17, 2012 8:06 am | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor, Industrial Distribution | Articles | Comments

There is a lot of buzz about the manufacturing industry and where it seems to be headed in the future. One source says that the skills gap is so great that growth is impossible. Another says that manufacturing’s comeback is not so very far off in the future.  Manufacturers wish they could just know the answers so they can make the decisions to drive their business into the next year and beyond.

Japan Survey Shows Business Sentiment Darkening

December 14, 2012 2:08 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japanese manufacturers are growing increasingly pessimistic, according to a survey released Friday that added to gloom over the economic outlook ahead of Sunday's parliamentary election. The Bank of Japan's "tankan" index for the December quarter slumped to minus 12 from minus 3 in the previous quarter, a result that was much worse than expected. A reading below zero means pessimistic views outnumber optimists.


Survey: China's Manufacturing At 14-Month High

December 14, 2012 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's manufacturing activity rose to a 14-month high in December, adding to signs the world's second-largest economy is recovering, but export orders weakened, a survey showed Friday. HSBC Corp. said the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers' index rose to 50.9 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 represent expanding activity. That was up from November's 50.5.

U.S. Manufacturing Output Rises In November

December 14, 2012 10:08 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factories rebounded in November from Superstorm Sandy, boosting production of cars, equipment and appliances. The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory output increased 1.1 percent in November from October. That offset a 1 percent decline in the previous, which was blamed on the storm.

Volkswagen Group Reports Record Sales

December 14, 2012 10:03 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Volkswagen AG says group sales through the first 11 months of 2012 have already surpassed last year's record full-year result as deliveries outside western Europe more than offset declines in the debt-troubled region. Europe's largest automaker said Friday it sold 8.29 million vehicles from January through November, up 10.4 percent over the same period last year.

Weekly U.S. Jobless Aid Applications Drop To 343K

December 13, 2012 10:40 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply for a fourth straight week, a sign that the job market may be improving. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 29,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the lowest in two months. It is the second-lowest total this year.

U.S. Economy Could Withstand Brief Fall Off 'Cliff'

December 12, 2012 2:33 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

It's the scenario that's been spooking employers and investors and slowing the U.S. economy: Congress and the White House fail to strike a budget deal by New Year's Day. Their stalemate triggers sharp tax increases and spending cuts. Those measures shrink consumer spending, stifle job growth, topple stock prices and push the economy off a "fiscal cliff" and into recession.


Fewer U.S. CEOs Expect Hiring Dip Over Next 6 Months

December 12, 2012 2:29 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A survey of U.S. chief executives shows the number of large companies that plan to add jobs or hire more workers is essentially unchanged versus three months ago, although fewer expect hiring to decrease. The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that 29 percent of its member CEOs plan to increase hiring over the next six months, the same as in September when the group released its previous quarterly survey.

JinkoSolar Shares Soar On South African Contract

December 12, 2012 2:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of JinkoSolar jumped 21 percent Wednesday after the company received a contract from WBHO-Building Energy Ltd. to supply 81 megawatts of solar modules for a power project in South Africa. JinkoSolar will deliver a total of 344,540 photovoltaic solar panels for the project, which is expected to generate about 146 gigawatt hour of power equivalent.

Porsche Breaks Its Own Sales Record

December 12, 2012 10:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German sports car maker Porsche AG says it has already broken last year's record sales number with one month left in 2012. The company, which is now owned by Volkswagen, said Wednesday it delivered 128,978 vehicles through November, more than the total of 118,868 it sold in all of 2011 — at the time a new record.

India Industrial Output Rises 8.2 Percent In October

December 12, 2012 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Industrial production in India soared 8.2 percent in October, a sharp spike for Asia's third largest economy but industry viewed the data with some caution. The data from India's Central Statistics Office on Wednesday showed that manufacturing rose 9.6 percent and electricity output increased 5.5 percent from the year before.

U.S. Wholesalers Boosted Stockpiles In October

December 11, 2012 2:07 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in October but their sales fell sharply, a mixed sign for economic growth. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that stockpiles grew 0.6 percent in October. That's slower than September's 1.1 percent increase, which was the biggest gain in nine months. Sales in October fell 1.2 percent, after rising 1.9 percent in September.


U.S. Trade Deficit Grows To $42.2B In October

December 11, 2012 10:20 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit increased in October because exports fell by a larger margin than imports, a sign that slower global growth could weigh on the U.S. economy. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the trade deficit grew 4.8 percent in October from September to $42.2 billion. Exports dropped 3.6 percent to $180.5 billion. Sales of commercial aircraft, autos and farm products all declined.

U.S., EU Looking At World's Biggest Free Trade Pact

December 11, 2012 10:15 am | by Desmond Butler, The Associated Press | News | Comments

After years of battling each other on trade issues, U.S. and European officials are contemplating a dramatic change in direction: joining together in what could be the world's largest free trade pact in an attempt to boost their struggling economies.

ThyssenKrupp Takes $4.66B Hit In Americas Unit

December 11, 2012 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG says it is taking a €3.6 billion ($4.66 billion) hit on the value of its Steel Americas unit. The Essen-based company says the writedown follows a reassessment prompted by efforts to sell the unit's plants in the United States and Brazil.

Maserati Confident In Italy Output Despite Turmoil

December 10, 2012 2:13 pm | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The CEO of Italian luxury carmaker Maserati is confident that parent company Fiat's €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) investment to boost production in Italy will bring results despite political instability that once again was endangering the country's financial health.

China November Trade Weak In Challenge To Economy

December 10, 2012 2:11 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's trade weakened sharply in November, adding to challenges for the world's second-largest economy as a gradual recovery takes shape. Export growth plunged to 2.9 percent over a year earlier from the previous month's 11.6 percent, customs data showed Monday. Imports were flat, down from October's 2.4 percent growth.

Honeywell Issues Weak 2013 Earnings Outlook

December 10, 2012 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honeywell International Inc. on Monday issued weaker-than-expected 2013 earnings guidance, predicting that the overall global economy will continue to grow slowly next year. The Morris Township, N.J.-based technology and manufacturing conglomerate said it expects to post a 2013 profit of $4.75 to $4.95 per share on $39 billion to $39.5 billion in revenue.

U.S. Manufacturing Tech Orders Up 5.3 Pct. Over 2011

December 10, 2012 2:04 pm | News | Comments

October U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $459.16 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participat­ing in the USMTO program, was down 31.3 percent from September and down 0.1 percent when compared with the total of $459.41 million reported for October 2011.

Obama, Boehner Talk 'Fiscal Cliff' Stalemate

December 10, 2012 10:15 am | by Anne Flaherty, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met at the White House to discuss the "fiscal cliff," while rank-and-file Republicans stepped forward with what they called pragmatic ideas to break the stalemate. They agreed not to release details of their weekend conversation, but aides emphasized that the lines of communication remain open.

ISM: U.S. Manufacturing Continues Sideways

December 10, 2012 8:42 am | Articles | Comments

It appears that it’s more of the same in U.S. manufacturing. While the overall economy grew for the 42nd consecutive month, economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in November following two months of modest expansion, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business

Hiring Holds Steady Despite Sandy, Fiscal Cliff

December 7, 2012 2:24 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. hiring gains held steady in November despite disruptions from Superstorm Sandy and employers' concerns about impending tax increases from the year-end "fiscal cliff." Companies added 146,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent — the lowest in nearly four years — from 7.9 percent in October. The rate declined mainly because more people stopped looking for work and weren't counted as unemployed.

U.S. Manufacturing Shrinks To 3-Year Low

December 3, 2012 1:02 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturing shrank in November to its weakest level since July 2009, the first month after the Great Recession ended. Worries about automatic tax increases in the New Year cut demand for factory orders and manufacturing jobs. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing conditions fell to a reading of 49.5. That's down from 51.7 in October.

Better Economy, Storm Delays Lift U.S. Auto Sales

December 3, 2012 12:57 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

A better economy and extra demand after Superstorm Sandy lifted U.S. auto sales last month. Americans are willing to buy a new car or truck because they are more confident in the economy than they've been in a while: Home values are rising, hiring is up, and auto financing is readily available.

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