US factory orders fell .5 percent in June

Companies placed fewer orders with U.S. factories in June from May, signaling further weakness with manufacturing.   The Commerce Department said Thursday that factory orders fell 0.5 percent in June, the third decline in four months.   Orders for core capital goods, considered a good proxy for business investment, dropped 1.7 percent. Demand fell for […]

UPS sees global economy getting worse

  UPS expects the global economy to get worse before it gets better. Again.   The world’s largest package delivery company is more pessimistic about U.S. growth than many economists. It predicts global trade will grow even slower than the world’s economies — a trend not seen since the recession. It’s making cuts in its […]

Voters: Jobs and manufacturing are top priorities

Voters say that creating jobs and strengthening manufacturing are top U.S. priorities, according to a poll of focus groups conducted by a bipartisan team of prominent Republican and Democratic pollsters. By a sizeable margin, voters rated manufacturing as the industry “most important to the overall strength of the American economy,” and support a national strategy […]

U.S. wholesale prices rise 0.1 percent in June

  U.S. wholesale prices rose only slightly last month, as higher costs for food and pickup trucks offset another drop in energy prices. But overall inflation stayed mild, leaving the Federal Reserve room to take steps to boost the economy.   The Labor Department said Friday that the producer price index increased 0.1 percent in […]

Oil prices lower after gov’t says supplies fell

  On signs of a slowing economy the price of oil fell Thursday.   In the U.S., shoppers cut back on spending last month as many retailers reported disappointing sales.   Meanwhile, Europe and China lowered interest rates in an effort to spark consumer borrowing and spending. Interest rate cuts — and the expectation that […]

U.S. employers post fewest job openings in 5 months

  U.S. employers in April posted the fewest job openings in five months, suggesting hiring will remain sluggish in the months ahead.   The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings fell to a seasonally adjusted 3.4 million in April, down from 3.7 million in March. The March figure was the highest in nearly four […]

Obama: Congress, Europe must stem economic crisis

  The economy at risk, President Barack Obama accused Republicans on Friday of pursuing policies that would weaken the U.S. recovery, and he simultaneously urged Europe’s leaders to prevent an overseas debt crisis from dragging down the rest of the world.   At a White House news conference five months before Election Day, the president […]

Belief in marketplace

One of the hallmarks of American capitalism is its faith in the efficiency of the marketplace. This means the setting of prices, the allocation of resources and the distribution of labor across different industries. Inefficiencies are ruthlessly punished. But how efficient is it when two companies producing the same product compete for market share? Isn’t […]

Oil trades below $93 on euro crisis concern

  The price of oil dipped below $93 a barrel on Thursday, extending a sharp two-week sell-off, as traders monitored Europe’s debt crisis and its potential impact on global growth.   Benchmark oil for June delivery rose 8 cents to $92.89 a barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract hit […]

Local economy improving, but employment and income lag

In some ways, the local economy is showing its strongest performance since bottoming out in February 2009, but there are still concerns about employment and real income, according to the Southern Economic Forum’s quarterly update. The regional manufacturing index is up 43 percent since the recession and consumer confidence is up 19 percent. Economists at […]