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Mississippi casino revenue falls sharply in February
Gamblers stayed away from Mississippi casinos in February, sending revenue tumbling 10 percent compared with the same month in 2016. State Revenue Department figures show gamblers lost $172 million last month, compared to $190 million in February 2016. The 12 coastal casinos posted revenue of $95 million, down 9 percent from $105 million in February 2016. It was the second-sharpest monthly revenue drop in four years on the Gulf Coast, a period when revenues have generally risen. Jackson Clarion Ledger
Submitted 10 hours ago

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Winston-Salem ranks No. 5 in national report on healthiest housing markets
Winston-Salem's housing market appears to be in good shape, ranking No. 5 in Nationwide Insurance's list of 400 U.S. metro housing markets. That means Winston-Salem's market is projected among the healthiest and most sustainable in the nation in the coming year. The overall national outlook for housing remains positive, according to the report released this week. This forward-looking indicator, which evaluates the housing health outlook for the United States and 400 metropolitan areas, positively rates employment, demographics, the mortgage market and house prices in Winston-Salem. Triad Business Journal
Submitted 10 hours ago

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SunTrust survey: Charlotte business owners optimistic on national economy, hope regulatory burdens lighten
Charlotte business owners are optimistic the national economy will improve in the six months. They also feel good about their own businesses and hope the government lightens their regulatory loads, according to SunTrust’s annual Business Pulse Survey. The Atlanta-based bank surveyed about 500 small and mid-market businesses around the country — including 61 from Charlotte — for the report. Nationally the survey found nearly two-thirds of business leaders expect the global and U.S. economy to improve through 2017. And they are even more optimistic about their own companies. Charlotte Business Journal
Submitted 10 hours ago

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Austin's tourism industry generates $9B per year, employs more than 100K, report says
The tourism and travel sector brought in an estimated $9.1 billion in gross product for the Austin metro in 2016, according to a new report. That ranked fifth in Texas behind Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth. Tourism employs 103,903 people in the Austin area, according to "The Impact of Travel and Tourism on Texas Property Tax Revenues" from the Perryman Group, a Waco-based economic analysis firm. The tourism industry as defined by the Perryman Group includes restaurants, hotels and other lodging, amusement venues, and other tourism-related properties. Austin Business Journal
Submitted 11 hours ago

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Atlanta business leaders bullish on U.S. economy
The majority of business leaders in Atlanta and around the country are optimistic about the future of the economy. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of business leaders expect the global and U.S. economy to improve through 2017 but Atlanta’s long-term outlook for the U.S. economy is even more bullish as 79 percent say it will be better in six months, according to the annual Business Pulse Survey by Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 11 hours ago

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More Republicans Call for Trump to Retract Obama Wiretap Claims
A growing roster of Republicans are calling on President Donald Trump to retract his claim that he was wiretapped during last year’s election after FBI Director James Comey said there was no evidence to support that accusation. The list includes Senator John McCain of Arizona and moderate Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Republicans who both said the president needs to walk back his statement that former President Barack Obama was spying on Trump Tower during the White House campaign last year. New York Representative Peter King and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake also made similar statements. Bloomberg
Submitted 11 hours ago

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China Ramps Up Charm Offensive With U.S. Business Leaders
BEIJING— Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and Jon McNeill of Tesla Motors were among dozens of western executives who spent a long and unseasonably warm weekend here strolling the grounds where Mao Zedong once lived, surrounded by blooming magnolia trees and gliding swans. The message they heard from top Chinese officials at the annual China Development Forum was as temperate as the weather: China remains open and eager for business, no matter the trade-war clouds that might be gathering. “China will push for a higher level of economic opening-up,” Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 11 hours ago

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For the first time since the election, Trump optimism is showing signs of cracking
For the first time since the election, markets are doubting they will get the pro-growth policies of tax reform and stimulus promised by President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress. The repeal of Obamacare appears to have hit some snags and the GOP brought out Trump earlier Tuesday to serve as pitchman to House Republicans who may have been wavering ahead of Thursday's vote. Whether he won votes or not is unclear, but markets certainly took the lack of clear majority support as a negative. CNBC
Submitted 11 hours ago

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Freedom Caucus threatens formal opposition to Obamacare replacement bill barring dramatic changes by Wednesday night
A key group of conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives is threatening to issue a formal statement of opposition to the Obamacare replacement bill — potentially crippling its chances of being passed in its current form Thursday during a scheduled vote by the full House. The Freedom Caucus is poised to issue that negative statement — which likely would cause the bill's vote to be delayed — unless the language in the legislation changes dramatically by Wednesday night. The bill, as currently written, is "going down as of now," said a source familiar with the situation. CNBC
Submitted 11 hours ago

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Republican health-care bill will 'do great damage to our country,' GOP lawmaker says
The Republican health-care bill is the largest Republican welfare proposal in the history of the party and will do "great damage to our country," GOP Rep. Mo Brooks told CNBC on Tuesday. "It creates a huge new welfare program where taxpayers' dollars are being used to subsidize insurance companies, and over the long haul that is going to result in either higher premiums or higher taxes, or greater deficit and higher debt that's going to burden our economy for years, maybe decades to come," the congressman from Alabama said in an interview with "Closing Bell." CNBC
Submitted 11 hours ago

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Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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