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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.                    

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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.

Union Membership Holds Steady At 11.3 Pct.

January 24, 2014 1:26 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

In a turnabout, there are now slightly more union members working for private firms than in government, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. That reverses a five-year trend. Although the rate of membership among all workers didn't budge, the overall number of union members grew slightly, rising about 162,000 to nearly 14.5 million.

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Toyota World's Top Selling Automaker For 2nd Year

January 23, 2014 9:53 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota remained the top-selling automaker for the second year in a row, beating U.S. rival General Motors by some 270,000 vehicles in 2013, and set an ambitious target to sell more than 10 million vehicles this year. That would mark a milestone as no automaker has ever topped annual worldwide sales of 10 million.

Survey: CEOs More Confident On Global Economy

January 22, 2014 2:03 pm | by John Heilprin and Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

With the worst of the global financial crisis behind them, CEOs are ready to move on from the fight for survival their businesses have been in for the past few years, a survey found Tuesday.                 

Emerging Markets Fuel Revenue For SABMiller

January 21, 2014 11:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SABMiller PLC, one of the world's biggest brewers, says demand in emerging markets fueled sales in the third quarter, which ended Dec. 31. Chief Executive Alan Clark says in a statement Tuesday that growth in Africa, Latin America and China helped overall revenue grow 4 percent despite weaknesses in the North American and European markets.

MAPI Business Outlook: Manufacturing Sector Continues Upswing

January 17, 2014 1:45 pm | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

The December 2013 composite index improved to 67 from 66 in the September survey—the fourth straight quarterly advance and the highest level since the September 2011 reading of 67. For 17 quarters, the index has remained above the threshold of 50, the dividing line separating contraction and expansion.

Factory Output Rises For Fifth Straight Month

January 17, 2014 1:28 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factory output rose for a fifth straight month in December, as manufacturers cranked out more cars and trucks, appliances, and processed food. The gains suggest factories gave economic growth a strong boost at the end of the year. The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory production rose 0.4 percent in December.

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PwC 2014 Manufacturing Trends Predictions

January 17, 2014 9:04 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Every January, companies make predictions about the year ahead and what trends they should expect. Bobby Bono, the U.S. industrial manufacturing leader at PwC, has assembled a list of trends he is predicting for the manufacturing sector moving forward.

European Car Market Endures Longest Slump Ever

January 16, 2014 9:55 am | by Colleen Barry, Associated Press | News | Comments

The European car market has endured its longest slump ever with a sixth straight year of contraction in 2013, but an unexpected surge in December sales may signal recovery, according to industry data released Thursday.         

New Hyundai CEO On Quest To Regain Lost Market Share

January 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Tom Krisher, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Under the new Hyundai CEO Dave Zuchowski's predecessor, John Krafcik, Hyundai posted huge sales gains and captured 5.1 percent of the U.S. market in 2011. Then the company's factories couldn't keep up with demand and sales slowed.     

GM Predicts Modest Pretax Profit Gain This Year

January 15, 2014 1:55 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The No. 1 U.S. automaker joined others in forecasting slower growth in the red-hot U.S. market. Still, GM and industry analysts expect sales to reach or exceed 16 million for the first time since 2007. GM said it plans to use profits from the U.S. and China — now its largest market — to boost weaker parts of its business.

U.S. Challenges China Over High-Tech Steel Imports

January 14, 2014 9:56 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. is accusing China of failing to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling against China's imposition of duties on high-tech American steel. Washington says the duties caused a $250 million annual drop in exports. The ruling concerns grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel that is used primarily by the power generating industry.

A Tale Of 2 Employment Surveys

January 10, 2014 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

How did the unemployment rate drop so much given the weak job growth? Because the government conducts one survey to learn how many jobs were created and another to determine the unemployment rate. The two surveys can sometimes produce differing results.

China's December Exports Slow, Imports Accelerate

January 10, 2014 10:04 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's export growth slowed in December while imports accelerated, possibly helping to temper fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. Exports rose 4.3 percent to $207.7 billion, slowing from November's 12.7 percent expansion, trade data showed Friday.

Mercedes, Audi See Record Sales In 2013

January 10, 2014 9:59 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German luxury car makers Mercedes-Benz and Audi enjoyed record sales last year, boosted by rising demand in the United States and China. Mercedes-Benz, which is based in Stuttgart and owned by Daimler AG, said Friday that it sold 1.462 million cars last year worldwide, an increase of 10.7 percent.

Ford Fiesta Back In Japan Despite Past Failure

January 9, 2014 11:57 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan Ford President Toshio Morita, unveiling the 2.29 million yen ($22,900) model Thursday, declined comment on trade barrier and currency manipulation allegations being voiced by Ford Motor Co. headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, and other U.S. automakers.

Airlines Go On A Record New Jet Shopping Spree

January 9, 2014 9:45 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Airlines Writer | News | Comments

Airlines are on the largest jet-buying spree in the history of aviation, ordering more than 8,200 new planes with manufacturers Airbus SAS and The Boeing Co. in the past five years. There are now a combined 24 planes rolling off assembly lines each week, up from 11 a decade ago. And that rate is expected to keep climbing.

Survey: U.S. Companies Add 238K Jobs, Most In Year

January 8, 2014 1:10 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A private survey shows U.S. businesses added the most jobs in a year in December, powered by a big gain in construction. The figures are the latest evidence that the economy gained momentum at the end of 2013. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 238,000 jobs in December, up slightly from 229,000 in the previous month.

Ford Stock Up, Microsoft Down On Mulally News

January 8, 2014 1:03 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. shares rose while Microsoft Corp. stock fell Wednesday morning on news that Ford CEO Alan Mulally won't leave the automaker to lead the software giant. Mulally said in an interview with The Associated Press late Tuesday that he will stay at Ford at least through the end of this year. 

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