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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

ISM: 55 Months Of Consecutive Manufacturing Growth

January 2, 2014 12:52 pm | by Institute for Supply Management | News | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 55th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

BlackBerry Co-founder Trims Stake After Huge Loss

December 26, 2013 9:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry co-founder Michael Lazaridis has trimmed his stake in the troubled smartphone pioneer to just below 5 percent after selling 3.5 million shares during the past two days.  The sales disclosed in a Tuesday regulatory filing came after BlackBerry Ltd. announced a third-quarter loss of $4.4 billion last week.

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Jumped 3.5 Pct. In Nov.

December 26, 2013 9:31 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The surge in orders for durable goods, which are products expected to last at least three years, was the latest evidence of a rebound in manufacturing. The gains will likely provide support for the economy into 2014.          

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A ‘Monster’ Look At Manufacturing Jobs

December 23, 2013 9:14 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Not too long ago, Monster.com, the well-known online job marketplace, conducted a comprehensive survey (see infographic below) on the state of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and came to some compelling, if not worrying, results.        

Unemployment Rates Fall In Nearly All U.S. States

December 23, 2013 8:58 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Labor Department said Friday that employers added jobs in 43 states and cut jobs in just seven. California, Texas and Indiana reported the largest job gains.  The lower state unemployment rates are due in part to robust hiring nationwide over the past four months.

U.S. Growth Upgrade Gives Stocks Another Lift

December 23, 2013 8:14 am | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Government figures showed that the world's largest economy grew by an annualized rate of 4.1 percent in the third quarter, up from the previous estimate of 3.6 percent. The pace of growth is further evidence that the U.S. economy is gaining traction and helps explain why the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to reduce its stimulus by $10 billion a month starting from January.

U.S. Economy Expands At 4.1 Percent Rate

December 20, 2013 1:11 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Commerce Department's final look at growth in the summer was up from a previous estimate of 3.6 percent. Four-fifths of the revision came from stronger consumer spending, primarily in the area of health care.            

MAPI: Growth Rebound In The Making

December 20, 2013 12:39 pm | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation | News | Comments

Manufacturing industrial production increased at a 1.0 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2013, but production has rapidly accelerated in the fourth quarter. Inflation-adjusted GDP increased at a 3.6 percent annual rate in the third quarter. MAPI forecasts that manufacturing production will increase 3.1 percent in 2014, a slight deceleration from the 3.2 percent forecast in the September 2013 report.

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BlackBerry Loses $4.4 Billion In Latest Quarter

December 20, 2013 9:36 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry is reporting a massive $4.4 billion loss in the third quarter and 56 percent drop in revenue.  The results are the Blackberry's first under new chairman and interim chief executive John Chen.             

Equipment Lease Finance Industry Confidence Decreases Slightly At Year-end

December 18, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation | News | Comments

Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 55.8, a decrease from the November index of 56.9, reflecting industry concerns over uncertainty regarding capital expenditures (capex) and competitive market pressures in 2014, among other issues.

Ford Calls 2013 One Of Its Best Financial Years Ever

December 18, 2013 1:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford said Wednesday that pretax profit for this year should total about $8.5 billion. The automaker expects 10 percent revenue growth, improved market share in all regions except Europe and stronger cash flow than a year ago.        

Top 10 Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2014: No. 3 & 4

December 18, 2013 10:30 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO & Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

IDC Manufacturing Insights provides organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon.  Today's predictions focus on your supply chain.              

How Budget Deal Should Help Support U.S. Economy

December 18, 2013 10:03 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The two-year spending plan the Senate is expected to approve Wednesday all but removes the threat of another government shutdown like the one that slowed the economy in October.  Among other things, the agreement will roll back some of the automatic federal spending cuts that kicked in this year.

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Congress Report Shows Manufacturing Revitalization, Urges Legislative Support

December 17, 2013 1:27 pm | by U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee | News | Comments

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, today released a new report detailing the revitalization in U.S. manufacturing, showing it has added over 500,000 jobs since February 2010 and exceeded its pre-recession peak for exports, up 38 percent since 2009.

Outgoing GM CEO: Taxpayers Gained On Bailout

December 17, 2013 1:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Retiring General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson says the government bailout of his company was a net gain for taxpayers — even though they lost $10.5 billion.                           

Consumer Prices Flat As Gas Costs Keep Falling

December 17, 2013 1:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. consumer prices stayed flat in November, held down by falling gas prices. Inflation remains low across the broader economy, giving the Federal Reserve latitude to continue its extraordinary stimulus program.           

Survey: U.S. Chemical Industry Poised For Dynamic Expansion

December 17, 2013 1:06 pm | by American Chemistry Council | News | Comments

“American chemistry is back in the game,” said Dr. Kevin Swift, ACC’s chief economist. "After a decade of lost competitiveness, American chemistry is reemerging as a growth industry. We’re seeing growing end-use markets; strengthening employment; surging exports."

Top 10 Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2014: No. 1 & 2

December 17, 2013 10:36 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO & Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

IDC Manufacturing Insights hosted a web conference “IDC Manufacturing Insights Predictions 2014: Worldwide Manufacturing” highlighting the Top 10 predictions for the year ahead.  Today's predictions focus on information technology and trends.             

Factory Output Rises Solid 0.6 Pct. In November

December 16, 2013 1:37 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factories increased output in November for the fourth straight month, led by a surge in auto production. The gains show manufacturing is strengthening and could help boost economic growth.The Federal Reserve says factory production rose 0.6 percent in November after a 0.5 percent gain in October.

U.S. Worker Output Rises At Best Pace In 4 Years

December 16, 2013 9:39 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. workers boosted their productivity from July through September at the fastest pace since the end of 2009, adding to signs of stronger economic growth.The Labor Department said Monday that productivity increased at a 3 percent annual rate in the third quarter.

U.S. Wholesale Costs Fall For 3rd Month

December 13, 2013 1:34 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The producer price index, which measures prices before they reach the consumer, declined 0.1 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday. This comes after similar decreases in October and September.             

Unemployment Aid Applications Surge To 368,000

December 12, 2013 1:01 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 68,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the largest increase in more than a year.  The surge in first-time applications could be a troubling sign if it lasts. But it likely reflects the difficulty adjusting for delays after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Forecast: Moderate Growth From A Deep Recession

December 11, 2013 1:43 pm | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation | News | Comments

Manufacturing production is expected to fare better than the overall economy, with anticipated growth of 3.1 percent in 2014 and 4.1 percent in 2015. The 2014 forecast is a slight decrease from the 3.2 percent predicted in the September forecast; the 2015 projection is unchanged.

Survey: 80 Pct. Don't See Supply Chain As Strategy Enabler

December 11, 2013 1:30 pm | by Hitachi Consulting | News | Comments

Spanning nine European countries, Hitachi Consulting’s survey aimed to identify the extent to which supply chain management activities and priorities are aligned with a strategic transformation agenda. The survey found that over half of the respondents do not regard their business’s supply chain as a fundamental source of business value.

GM To Stop Making Cars In Australia By 2017

December 11, 2013 10:01 am | by Rod McGuirk, Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co. said Wednesday it will stop making cars and engines in Australia by the end of 2017, with nearly 2,900 jobs to be lost, because of high production costs and competition.The decision could spell the end of car manufacturing in Australia as the industry will be too small for supporting businesses such as parts makers to remain economic.

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