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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Report: Offshoring And Outsourcing A Mixed Bag For U.S. Jobs, Wages

February 19, 2014 10:17 am | by UC Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) | News | Comments

Without solid numbers, many have assumed that most of the offshored jobs go to developing countries where workers are paid near-poverty wages in less than ideal working conditions. However, the researchers said public fear that offshoring to lower-cost countries is putting downward pressure on U.S. jobs may be overblown.

Budget Office: Wage Hike Would Lift Pay, Cost Jobs

February 19, 2014 10:14 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 jobs, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday.

Oreo Maker Mondelez Sees Cookie Troubles In China

February 14, 2014 10:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The company, which also makes Cadbury, Chips Ahoy, Ritz, and Trident gum, said its core revenue for the final three months of the year rose 2.5 percent, primarily as a result of higher volume.                  

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Renault Earnings Slashed By Over Half In 2013

February 14, 2014 10:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Renault says its earnings were more than halved last year even as car sales began to rebound, as heavy restructuring costs ate into the French car maker's profits.                          

Cold Weather Causes Factory Output To Drop

February 14, 2014 10:27 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Harsh winter weather led to a steep drop in U.S. factory output in January. Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture, and carpeting, as the recent cold spell ended five straight months of increased production.      

U.S. Businesses Boost Inventories As Sales Slow

February 13, 2014 4:29 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. businesses restocked their shelves and warehouses at a faster pace in December, but sales slowed, a cautionary sign for the economy. The Commerce Department says inventories rose 0.5 percent after a 0.4 percent increase in November. Sales growth fell to just 0.1 percent, from 0.7 percent in November.

Industrial Manufacturing Deal Activity Picks Up In Second Half Of 2013

February 13, 2014 11:30 am | by PwC US | News | Comments

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the industrial manufacturing sector increased in the second half of 2013, with a 20 percent uptick in activity in the final six months of the year compared to the first half, according to Assembling Value, an annual analysis of global deal activity in the industrial manufacturing industry by PwCUS.

U.S. Cutting Tool Consumption Down 11.7 Pct. In December

February 12, 2014 2:12 pm | by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

December U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $138 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total was down 11.7 percent from November’s total and down 3.9 percent from December 2012.

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Fears Of Slowdown Sharpen Focus On Jobs Report

February 6, 2014 1:53 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Stock markets have sunk after signs of weaker growth in the United States, Europe, and China. Turmoil in developing countries has further spooked investors. The upheaval has renewed doubts about the Federal Reserve's next steps.       

U.S. Trade Deficit Up In December To $38.7B

February 6, 2014 1:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit increased in December after hitting a four-year low in November. But for the year, the deficit fell to its lowest point since 2009 as exports rose to an all-time high.                  

Ingersoll-Rand Increases Dividend By 19 Pct.

February 5, 2014 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ingersoll-Rand plc said Wednesday that it is increasing its quarterly dividend by 19 percent and announced a $1.5 billion share repurchase program. Shares of the Irish industrial and commercial products maker jumped in trading in reaction.    

Survey: Companies Add 175,000 Jobs In January

February 5, 2014 9:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Payroll processor ADP says companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That's down from 227,000 in December, which was revised lower. But it was much better than the government's official figure of just 74,000 new jobs in December.       

U.S. Factory Orders Down 1.5 Percent In December

February 4, 2014 1:56 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturers saw orders for their products decline in December by the largest amount in five months although the setback for a key category that tracks business investment was not as large as first reported.           

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MAPI: January Factory Slowdown 'Worrisome'

February 4, 2014 10:08 am | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

“While U.S. manufacturing continued its growth into the new year, survey data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the pace of factory activity slowed considerably. The overall Index fell by 5.2 percentage points from 56.5 in December to 51.3 in January, still signaling overall output advances but at a far more muted pace."

U.S. Stocks Slide On Manufacturing Data

February 3, 2014 1:49 pm | by Alex Veiga, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

U.S. stocks fell sharply in afternoon trading Monday, pushing down the Dow Jones industrial average more than 260 points as investors worried about reports of sluggish growth in the U.S. economy. The decline adds to losses racked up by the market in January.

Ford, GM, Toyota Sales Fall With January Temperatures

February 3, 2014 1:35 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Frigid temperatures and snowy weather generally kept buyers away from auto showrooms last month, with Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen all reporting declines from a year ago. But Chrysler, Nissan, and Subaru dealers were smiling because sales were up for all three brands.

U.S. Factories Expanded At Much Slower Pace In Jan.

February 3, 2014 1:28 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturing barely expanded last month as factories cut back sharply on production, and new orders plunged. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 51.3 in January from 56.5 in the previous month.

U.S. Consumer Spending Up 0.4 Pct. In December

January 31, 2014 1:43 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Americans increased their spending at a solid pace for the second straight month in December even though their income was flat. Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in December, compared with November when spending had increased an even stronger 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Honda's 3Q Profit Doubles, Sales Get Weak Yen Boost

January 31, 2014 9:56 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Honda Motor Co. reported on Friday a 160.7 billion yen ($1.58 billion) net profit for the October-December fiscal third quarter, up from 77.4 billion yen the year before.                       

State Of The U.S. Economy: Strongest Since Recession

January 29, 2014 9:33 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economy is showing more strength than at any time since the Great Recession began six years ago. Employers are hiring. Home prices, sales, and construction have surged. Corporate profits and stocks have hit records. And consumers have picked up their spending.

Unemployment Rates Fall In 39 States Last Month

January 28, 2014 1:48 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates fell in four-fifths of US states in December and rose in just two, though most of the improvement stemmed from unemployed Americans giving up on their job searches.                    

MAPI: Despite Durable Goods Setback, Still Optimistic

January 28, 2014 1:37 pm | by MAPI - Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation | News | Comments

The reduction in orders was led by very large percentage declines in defense capital goods, civilian aircraft, computers and electronic products, and motor vehicle orders. Government austerity led to lower military equipment spending last month (which was not new), and defense capital goods orders fell 20 percent in 2013 as a whole.

Siemens Net Profit Rises 20 Pct.

January 28, 2014 9:52 am | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Industrial equipment maker Siemens AG said quarterly net profit rose 20 percent as the company moved past one-time charges for delays delivering high-speed trains. Net profit rose to 1.46 billion euros ($2 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2013, the company's fiscal first. That was up from 1.21 billion euros a year ago.

Ford Beats 4Q Profit Forecasts, Braces For Weaker 2014

January 28, 2014 9:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. enjoyed one of the best years in its history in 2013, but the celebration won't last long. Ford has already warned that profits will be down this year as it launches a record 23 vehicles and builds seven plants around the world.  

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Drop 4.3 Pct.

January 28, 2014 9:41 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Businesses cut back sharply on their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in December with a key category that signals business investment plans falling by the biggest amount in five months. The weakness was led by a big 17.5 percent drop in the volatile category of commercial aircraft.

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