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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

A Manufacturing Opportunity

September 12, 2012 5:30 pm | Articles | Comments

In the past decade, America has lost 6 million manufacturing jobs; yet today, 600,000 jobs can’t be filled in America because manufacturers can’t find people with the right skills. When Americans are asked how they would create a thousand new jobs in their communities with a new business facility, manufacturing is their first choice.

U.S. Wholesale Stockpiles Up In July, Sales Fell

September 12, 2012 2:18 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. wholesalers increased their stockpiles in July from June, but sales fell for a third straight month. Declining sales could force companies to cut inventories in coming months, a troubling sign that economic growth could weaken. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that wholesale stockpiles grew 0.7 percent in July, the biggest increase in five months.

Trina Solar To Cut Costs, Jobs

September 12, 2012 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Trina Solar Ltd. said Tuesday that it is cutting an undisclosed number of jobs as part of a broader cost-saving initiative. The Chinese solar panel maker said that in order to overcome increasingly intense competition, it will cut jobs, reduce its operating expenses and separate two of its business lines into their own units.

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China's Imports Shrink In Sign That The Downturn Is Worsening

September 10, 2012 10:50 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Imports declined 2.6 percent from a year earlier, below analysts' expectations of growth in low single digits, data showed Monday. That came on top of August's decline in factory output to a three-year low and other signs growth is still decelerating despite repeated stimulus efforts.

ISM: Manufacturing Activity Contracts Again

September 10, 2012 8:07 am | by Mike Schmidt. Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

It’s been a tough few months for U.S. manufacturing, and it could be more of the same for at least the rest of 2012. While overall economy grew for the 39th consecutive month in August, economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in August for the third time since July 2009, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

Carmaker Peugeot Pushed Off France's CAC-40 Index

September 7, 2012 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Paris bourse will drop PSA Peugeot Citroen from its CAC-40 index of leading French companies after a dismal year for the carmaker, the exchange operator said. It's a major blow for the company, which has been a part of the index since it was created in 1987, and is an iconic brand in France.

Smith & Wesson Soars As Earnings Beat Wall St.

September 7, 2012 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Smith & Wesson shares jumped more than 19 percent in after-hours trading as the gun maker posted record quarterly earnings and said it expected more to come. Smith & Wesson expects earnings during the fiscal year ending next April in the range of 85 to 90 cents per share with revenue of $530 million to $540 million, or nearly one-third higher than the previous year.

U.S. Economy Adds 96K Jobs, Rate Falls To 8.1 Percent

September 7, 2012 10:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weak figure that could slow the momentum President Barack Obama hoped to gain from his speech Thursday night to the Democratic National Convention. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July. But that was only because more people gave up looking for work. People who are out of work are counted as unemployed only if they're looking for a job.

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Small, Medium-Sized Manufacturers Project Strong Second Half 2012

September 7, 2012 9:39 am | by Prime Advantage | Articles | Comments

Prime Advantage has announced the findings of its tenth semi-annual Group Outlook Survey, revealing projections and top concerns of its member companies for the second half of 2012. The majority of surveyed manufacturers report healthy revenue projections, strong hiring, and capital spending plans. However, for a small portion of respondents these plans may see delays due to uncertainty about the results of the federal elections.

Investors Cautious Ahead Of ECB Meeting

September 5, 2012 2:04 pm | by Carlo Piovano, Associated Press | News | Comments

Global markets fluctuated Wednesday as investors weighed poor economic data against expectations that the European Central Bank will announce a plan to support financially weak countries in the 17-member eurozone. ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to reveal on Thursday the details of a new bond-buying program intended to bring down the high borrowing costs of Spain and Italy.

Global Manufacturing Weakness Hurts U.S. Factories

September 5, 2012 10:30 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Manufacturing is weakening around the globe, a trend that is weighing on U.S. growth just as the presidential campaign enters its final stretch. U.S. factory activity shrank for a third straight month in August, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management released Tuesday.

Gadget Makers Jockey For Edge In Holiday Lineups

September 4, 2012 2:15 pm | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Think of it as the opening act at a concert: Nokia, Motorola and Amazon are expected to unveil new mobile devices this week before attention turns to a new iPhone and possibly a smaller iPad from Apple. Makers of consumer electronics are refreshing their products for the holiday shopping season.

Survey: U.S. Manufacturing Shrinks For Third Month

September 4, 2012 2:12 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factory activity shrank for the third straight month in August as new orders, production and employment all fell. The report adds to other signs that manufacturing is struggling around the globe. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday its index of manufacturing activity ticked down to 49.6.

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Olympic Ads Help Boost GM Sales

September 4, 2012 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors says its U.S. sales rose 10 percent last month as advertising on the Olympics and a Chevrolet money-back guarantee program drew more customers. GM rebounded from a bad July to sell almost 241,000 cars and trucks in August. Chevy brand sales were up more than 11 percent, and Chevy car sales rose 25 percent. But SUV sales tumbled in a month with rising gasoline prices.

Nation's 'Carpet Capital' Struggles To Recover

September 4, 2012 2:04 pm | by Ashley Hopkinson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Factories dot the highway and carpet retailers and mills line the main street through this town nestled in the north Georgia foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, making clear why Dalton was dubbed Carpet Capital of the World. Many of those businesses are shuttered now, hinting at one of the city's more dubious distinctions: The city has lost more jobs per capita in the past year than any other in the U.S.

Chrysler Sales Rise On Demand For Pickups

September 4, 2012 10:28 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Chrysler's U.S. sales rose 14 percent in August on strong demand for Ram pickup trucks. The Ram, which had its best August in five years, helped Chrysler sell more than 148,000 vehicles last month. The results are a sign that car and truck sales will remain strong despite consumers' worries about the economy.

Bernanke: With Unemployment High, Fed Can Do More

September 4, 2012 10:25 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Chairman Ben Bernanke sent a clear message Friday that the Federal Reserve will do more to help the still-struggling U.S. economy. His remarks left two questions: What exactly will the Fed do? And when? Bernanke described the U.S. economy's health as "far from satisfactory" and noted that the unemployment rate, now 8.3 percent, hasn't declined since January.

U.S. Factory Orders Rose 2.8 Percent In July

August 31, 2012 11:53 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. companies rose in July, reflecting a surge in demand for autos and commercial aircraft. But in a troubling sign of manufacturing weakness, a key orders category that tracks business investment plans fell by the largest amount in eight months.

Ford On Track To Beat Toyota With Best-Selling Car

August 31, 2012 9:58 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford says its Focus small car is on track to become the best-selling car in the world this year, trumping the Toyota Corolla. Ford sold 489,616 Focus sedans and hatchbacks worldwide in the first half of 2012. That was almost 27,000 more than the perennial best-seller, the Toyota Corolla.

Japan's Industrial Output Resumes Slide

August 31, 2012 9:56 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press | News | Comments

Japanese industrial production resumed its slide, falling 1.2 percent in July from June amid slumping global demand, the government said Friday. It's a disappointing sign for the world's third-biggest economy and suggests that any sort of recovery is sputtering.

Chevy Volt To Break Monthly Sales Record In August

August 30, 2012 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors says sales of its Chevrolet Volt electric car will break a monthly record in August. The company says it already has sold more than 2,500 Volts this month with two days left. The old record was 2,000 in March. A spokeswoman says about one-third of the sales are in California, where Volt owners can drive alone in carpool lanes. She says sales are growing in other states.

Chinese Solar Firms Sink As Bad News Rolls In

August 30, 2012 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Two major Chinese solar panel makers reported dismal second-quarter results and lowered their shipment forecasts Wednesday, the latest blows to an industry in turmoil. JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd.'s second-quarter loss widened from a year earlier, the company said Wednesday. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. swung to a net loss after posting net income in the same quarter a year earlier.

China's Wen Calls For Action On Europe Debt

August 30, 2012 2:09 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Expressing alarm at Europe's debt problems, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called on Greece, Spain and Italy to embrace budget cuts and get their finances in order after meeting Thursday with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel was in Beijing for talks aimed at boosting trade and allaying Chinese fears about Europe's heavy government debts.

Official: China's Growth Stabilizing At Slow Pace

August 29, 2012 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Government efforts to reverse China's economic slump are taking effect and growth is "stabilizing at a slow pace," the head of the country's planning agency said Wednesday. The statement by the minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission came amid a flurry of mixed signals that show some activity picking up but export orders and corporate profits weakening.

JA Solar Plunges As 2Q Loss Grows, Outlook Cut

August 29, 2012 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd.'s second-quarter loss widened from a year earlier, the company said Wednesday, as it became the latest victim of turmoil in the Chinese solar panel industry. JA also lowered its outlook for the year, and its stock, which trades as American depositary shares on the Nasdaq, plunged nearly 9 percent in afternoon trading.

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