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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

U.S. Economy Grew At 1.7 Percent Rate In 2Q

August 29, 2012 10:15 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economy grew at a tepid 1.7 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, suggesting growth will stay weak in the second half of the year. Slightly stronger consumer spending and greater exports were the main reasons the Commerce Department reported Wednesday that growth was better than its initial estimate of 1.5 percent.


Samsung Verdict May Benefit Nokia, Shares Climb

August 28, 2012 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Nokia Corp. surged on Monday after a Wall Street analyst said that the Finnish phone maker could benefit from the $1 billion patent verdict against Samsung. The decision could delay technology developments for devices that, like Samsung phones, run Google Inc.'s Android operating system. That could boost Nokia's line of Windows Phone-based smartphones.

Chinese Automaker BYD 1H Profit Down 94 Percent

August 28, 2012 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese auto and battery maker BYD Co. says first-half profit plunged 94 percent as it faced tougher competition in the world's biggest auto market. BYD said late Monday that profit sank to 16 million ($2.5 million) or 0.01 yuan (0.02 US cents) per share on a slight dip in revenue to 21.4 billion yuan. In the same period last year, BYD reported profit of 275 million yuan or 0.12 yuan per share.

Most Laid-Off U.S. Workers Take Pay Cuts In New Jobs

August 27, 2012 10:11 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economic recovery hasn't felt much like one even for people who managed to find new jobs after being laid off. Most of them have had to settle for less pay. Only 56 percent of Americans laid off from January 2009 through December 2011 had found jobs by the start of this year, the Labor Department said Friday. More than half of them took jobs with lower pay. One-third took pay cuts of 20 percent or more.

Equipment Lease Finance Industry Confidence Neutral In August

August 27, 2012 8:06 am | by Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation | Articles | Comments

The August 2012 MCI-EFI reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $628B equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 50.2, down from the July index of 51.5, reflecting ongoing industry concerns over economic, regulatory, and political uncertainty.

Applications For U.S. Unemployment Aid Up Slightly

August 24, 2012 2:13 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of people seeking first-time unemployment benefits rose a slight 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, evidence that the job market's recovery remains modest and uneven. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 3,750 to 368,000.


Drop In Key Durable Goods Orders Shows Weakness

August 24, 2012 10:12 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Signs that U.S. manufacturing is faltering emerged from a report Friday that orders for long-lasting factory goods, excluding the volatile transportation category, fell in July for the fourth time in five months. Overall orders for durable goods rose a seasonally adjusted 4.2 percent in July, the Commerce Department said.

China Manufacturing Activity At 9-Month Low

August 24, 2012 10:07 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing activity fell to a nine-month low in August, a survey showed Thursday, stepping up pressure on Beijing for more interest rate cuts and stimulus measures to revive growth in the world's second-largest economy. HSBC Corp. said a preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers' index fell to 47.8 from July's 49.3 on a 100-point scale where numbers below 50 indicate a contraction.

U.S. Industrial Markets Remain Resilient In A Challenging Time

August 24, 2012 8:06 am | by Jim Dieter, Cushman & Wakefield National Industrial | Blogs | Comments

The resiliency of industrial real estate is showing itself noticeably heading into the second half of 2012. Key markets nationwide continue to experience healthy demand, declining vacancies and positive absorption, which are beginning to push rent growth and foster the return of speculative construction.

Fed Remarks Send Investors To Metals

August 23, 2012 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Investors bought metals Wednesday after the Federal Reserve hinted that it could take more action to help the economy. Prices for gold and silver jumped after 2 p.m., when the Fed released minutes from its most recent meeting. The Fed suggested it could act unless the economic recovery picks up dramatically.

Chinese Solar Industry Faces Weak Sales, Price War

August 22, 2012 1:55 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Chinese solar panel makers that grew fast over the past decade are suffering big losses due to slumping global sales and a price war that threaten an industry seen by communist leaders as a role model for hopes to transform China into a technology leader.


Volkswagen Sales Rise 11.9 Percent In July

August 22, 2012 1:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German carmaker Volkswagen AG says sales rose 11.9 percent in July as demand in Asia and the United States outweighed slacker sales in crisis-hit western Europe. The company sold 468,300 vehicles worldwide during the month, up from 418,600 a year ago.

Chinese City Plans $240B In Investment

August 21, 2012 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A major Chinese city has announced plans for $240 billion in industrial investments, adding to a series of local spending initiatives that analysts say should help to boost China's slowing economic growth. The city government of Chongqing, said it will invest in seven areas including petrochemicals, electronics and auto manufacturing over the next three years.

2012 Design-2-Part Survey Reveals Outsourcing Trends

August 21, 2012 8:47 am | by Design-2-Part | Articles | Comments

As American manufacturing appears to have steadied from a 2011 growth spurt, contract manufacturing continues a trend of positive growth. In the third D2P Manufacturing Trends Survey, 42 percent of U.S. OEMs indicated that they expect to have more outsourcing projects in the next year than they had in the past twelve months.

Apple Sets Record For Company Value At $623B

August 20, 2012 2:06 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Apple is the world's most valuable company, ever. On Monday, its surging stock propelled the company's value to $623 billion, beating the record for market capitalization set by Microsoft Corp. in the heady days of the Internet boom. After a four-month dip, Apple's stock has hit new highs recently.

HP To Report Its Biggest Loss

August 20, 2012 2:01 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Facing up to its past mistakes is expected to saddle Hewlett-Packard Co. with a quarterly loss of nearly $9 billion, the largest setback in the Silicon Valley pioneer's history. The sobering results, due out after the stock market closes Wednesday, won't be a surprise.

Unemployment Rates Rose In 44 States In July

August 17, 2012 1:53 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates rose in 44 U.S. states in July, the most states to show a monthly increase in more than three years and a reflection of weak hiring nationwide. The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in only two states and were unchanged in four.

Ford Europe Sales Fall As Economy Struggles

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

Ford Motor Co.'s problems in Europe are worsening thanks to the region's faltering economy. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company said Thursday that auto industry sales in the region through July were the lowest in 17 years as automakers battled for sales in a declining market. Ford sold 83,100 vehicles last month in 19 European countries, down 12.3 percent from a year earlier.

Number Of U.S. Car Dealerships Rose In 2011

August 15, 2012 1:55 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The number of U.S. car dealerships is rising again after hundreds of closures during the recession. It's another sign of strength for the car industry.

China Moves Cautiously In Face Of Worsening Slump

August 15, 2012 1:52 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Facing a collapse in export growth and weak consumer spending, Beijing is avoiding an aggressive stimulus and sticking to a gradual strategy of small interest rate cuts and modest spending increases.

Deere Earnings Hit By Slowing Economic Growth

August 15, 2012 1:49 pm | by Samantha Bomkamp, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The effects of a slowing global economy caught up to Deere & Co. in its fiscal third quarter, as its net income rose 11 percent but fell well short of Wall Street's expectations.

U.S. Industrial Production Rose 0.6 Percent In July

August 15, 2012 10:28 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factories made more cars, computers, and airplanes last month, a hopeful sign that manufacturing is recovering after a weak spring.

Falling GM Stock Raises Government Loss On Bailout

August 14, 2012 10:10 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

U.S. taxpayers will lose $3.3 billion more on the auto industry bailout than the government predicted two months ago, hurt by General Motors' falling stock price.

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