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Texas oil production to break records despite price slump
Texas crude oil production is on its way to record-breaking levels despite the crippling drop in oil prices that began a year ago, according to one indicator in the most recent Texas Petro Index, a composite index based upon a group of upstream economic indicators. "It seems clear at this point that Texas crude oil production in 2015 will surpass its all-time high of 1.263 billion barrels in 1972, with estimated annual production in 2015 totaling 1.284 billion barrels,” said Karr Ingham, an economist who developed the TPI, in a statement accompanying the latest data. Houston Business Journal
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Up to 10 sites competing for Aston Martin plant
Alabama has been called the "obvious choice" for Aston Martin's proposed new factory that will build the UK-based company's crossover, but at least nine other sites in the UK and the U.S. are making their cases to the automaker. A report from Automotive News today said the company is considering up to 10 sites for its expansion. Aston Martin needs a new plant on a site outside of its Gaydon, England factory to build the DBX crossover. Birmingham Business Journal
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Judge orders BP to start paying local governments within the next 30 days
A federal judge on Monday issued an order for BP to begin paying up to $1 billion in settlements to local governments across the Gulf within the next 30 days. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's order comes after the July 15 deadline for approximately 500 local governments in five states to decide whether to accept BP's settlement offers as part of a broader $18.7 billion settlement, according to a report from the Associated Press. The larger settlement will primarily fund coastal rebuilding projects after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill damaged much of the Gulf coast environmentally and economically. Birmingham Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Poll: Traffic, growth still top concern for Austin residents as economy booms
The growing economy of the Austin region has many residents optimistic about the future, but they are wary of how those changes will affect the area's quality of life, according to a poll conducted by Allstate and the policy magazine National Journal. The poll surveyed 400 Austin-area adults between July 8-12. According to the results, three out of every five residents said the local economy will be stronger than it is today in 10 years, but two-thirds of respondents said the region is "mostly unprepared" to deal with the effects of the economic boom, such as increased population and traffic. Austin Business Journal
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It's official: Memphis is "in a relationship" with Facebook
ObsidianPR and Research Dynamics released the 2015 Mid-South Digital Engagement Survey, the fourth survey the duo produced together, revealing Memphians' online habits. This year's survey shows that 69 percent of survey participate in some kind of online activity — including social media, downloading mobile apps, visiting websites — more than a few times a day. That number is essentially flat from the previous year's level of 70 percent, but still off the 76 percent found in the 2013 survey. Memphis Business Journal
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Bourbon already is being aged at Diageo's new distillery in Kentucky
It seems like just yesterday British distilling giant Diageo PLC (NYSE: DEO) broke ground on a $115 million distillery in Shelby County. But it wasn't yesterday. It was actually last August. And now, less than a year since that groundbreaking, some warehousing operations at the facility already are up and running. A news release from Diageo said the first barrels of whiskey started arriving to be aged at the new facility early this month. Louisville Business First
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Atlanta-based NCR posts $343 million loss in the second quarter
NCR Corp. (NYSE: NCR) posted a loss in the second quarter, hurt by pension and restructuring costs. The Duluth, Ga.-based maker of electronic kiosks and ATMs reported its revenue was down 3 percent to $1.6 billion and it swung to a loss of $343 million, or a loss of $2.03 a share. The results include an $8 million charge related to an ongoing restructuring plan and a $427 million non-cash charge related to settlement of the UK London pension plan. Atlanta Business Chronicle
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New 'inland port' to reduce Atlanta truck traffic
Relief for Atlanta’s truck-choked interstate highway system is on the way. The Georgia Ports Authority and CSX Corp. signed an agreement Tuesday to open an “inland port” in Northwest Georgia that will reduce truck traffic in Atlanta by an estimated 40,000 vehicle moves a year. Operated by the ports authority, the Appalachian Regional Port will provide direct rail access to the Port of Savannah, reducing the need to move goods by truck through metro Atlanta from North Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and parts of Kentucky. Atlanta Business Chronicle
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More rail companies join CSX in revenue decline
Jacksonville's CSX Corp. (NYSC: CSX) is far from the only railroad hard-hit from declining coal revenue in the second quarter. Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC), one of CSX's main competitors, reported a 23 percent drop in profit, citing drops in coal and fuel surcharges, according to the Wall Street Journal. CSX had a 6 percent drop in revenue, due to coal-related headwinds. Coal volume dropped 11 percent from the same period last year to 295,000 units. The trend is occurring across the rail industry. Union Pacific had a nearly 10 percent coal-related drop in revenue, reports the Wall Street Journal. Across the board, coal carloads were down 9.4 percent. Jacksonville Business Journal
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What oil slump? Refiners live it up with top-performing stocks
Low oil prices haven’t hurt U.S. refiners, which have benefited from access to cheaper crude. On the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the top four energy performers over the past four years have been downstream companies: Tesoro Corp. (NYSE: TSO), Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO), Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC) and Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), according to data from Bloomberg. Both Marathon Petroleum and Phillips 66 were the downstream arms spun off from their parents a few years back — Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) and Houston-based ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP). Both of the downstream companies have surged from the access to the plethora of production coming from U.S. shale plays. Houston Business Journal
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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Urban areas have all kinds of assets that are easy to spot. They have the population, so the labor shed is not usually an issue. Urban areas are also connected by better roads, rail and air service and many have river and deep water ports. Usually Internet access and other forms of communication are more efficient in urban areas. And you have a larger array of quality of life options to choose from, such as the cultural assets found in metropolitan areas.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
After I finished the cover story for this issue, I read an interesting article by economist Paul Krugman, the op-ed columnist for the New York Times, titled, "Partying like it’s 1995." Generally I side with Krugman, even though I am a journalist, not an economist. Occasionally, though, I read some of his stuff and ask myself, "What planet did Krugman come from?" Like when he predicted a shift of automotive assembly to Canada after Toyota announced a new plant in Woodstock, Ontario in 2005 because of "free healthcare," among other benefits. That Toyota deal was the last major automotive assembly plant announced in Canada and I predict it will be the very last one for the Canadians.
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean
If you have ever seen one of my presentations, then you know about the word "reshoring" and how that phenomenon has lifted the spirits of even the most skeptical Southerners regarding the future of the region's economy. After all, in the last four decades, manufacturing has suffered a bloodletting never before seen in U.S. history. The biggest factor behind the slow and long meltdown that began in the 1990s was the herd mentality to offshore manufacturing capacity to cheaper locales, primarily by U.S.-owned companies.
 


 

 

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