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Fed stands by stimulus, sees stronger US economy
Despite signs of an improving economy, the Federal Reserve Wednesday said it will continue to pursue an easy-money policy aimed at holding down long-term interest rates and stimulating growth. In a statement after a two-day meeting, the Fed said it will keep buying $85 billion a month in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities until the labor market improves substantially, echoing its statements since last fall. The monthly bond purchases raise bond prices, which pushes down their yields as well as long-term interest rates broadly. The Fed's statement said policymakers continue "to see downside risks to the economic outlook" but with appropriate Fed policies, "economic growth will proceed at a moderate pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline ..." USA Today
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

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Haley Barbour backs ‘path to citizenship’
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour unequivocally endorsed a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants Wednesday, avoiding a trap that has snared other prominent Republicans in recent weeks. “I am very comfortable with a path to citizenship,” Barbour told reporters at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. “It should be more strenuous than the path for people who come here under the regular rules. … I’m very comfortable with that. Some people aren’t. And that’s part of what getting from here to there is all about.” Politico
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

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Why party-swapping Charlie Crist could be Florida's next governor
Mark Sanford, the disgraced former governor of South Carolina, appears on track to win back his old House seat after coming in first in Tuesday’s GOP primary. Next up, Charlie Crist? If early polling is any guide, former Republican Governor Crist of Florida – now a Democrat – is also on the political comeback trail. Mr. Crist would beat Gov. Rick Scott (R) handily, 50 percent to 34 percent among registered Florida voters, if the 2014 election were held today, according to a poll out Wednesday by Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. The poll demonstrates as much the unpopularity of Governor Scott as it does the appeal of potential opponents. The Democrat who barely lost to Scott in 2010 – Alex Sink, Florida’s former chief financial officer – also beats Scott in a hypothetical matchup, 45 percent to 34 percent. Only 32 percent of Florida voters say Scott – a former health industry executive elected in 2010 on a wave of tea party support – deserves to be reelected. Among independents, that number is worse, at 28 percent. Why is Scott so unpopular? Christian Science Monitor
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

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VW Chattanooga opens door to unionization
Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant may become the first auto factory in the United States to create a European-style works council to represent employees, and such a move could provide a foothold for the United Auto Workers in the South. "It looks like a done deal," said Mike Randall, publisher of the industry trade magazine Southern Business and Development. Horst Neumann, VW's board member in charge of human resources, said the automaker was in talks with the UAW about setting up a German-style labor board at the Tennessee plant. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

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Rigs-to-Reefs program making a splash in Texas
Offshore oil platforms are designed to make lots of money while they are operating, but they are expensive and complicated to remove. Fortunately, oil companies, fishermen and conservationists have found a happy solution for the underwater portions of some of the old oil and gas rigs – leave them for the fishies in the deep blue sea. These offshore drillers are participating in state “rig-to-reef” programs, which allow operators to leave underwater portions of their former drilling structures in designated sites. Houston Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

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Mississippi's economic recovery sluggish
Key economic indicators released this week indicate that Mississippi’s economic recovery progress is slow. Mississippi was one of 25 states to see the rate of unemployment rise in January, and currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. The adjusted seasonal unemployment rate for the state was 9.3 percent in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, up 0.4 percent from a month earlier. Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

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Mississippi alternative fuel maker KiOR makes first shipment
Alternative fuel company KiOR announced Monday it has made its long-awaited first shipment of fuel from its Columbus facility. KiOR officials made the announcement during a conference call while announcing their 2012 fourth quarter earnings, telling investors the company shipped the fuel on Sunday. Officials added that between April and the end of the year, the Columbus plant expects to ship between three to five million gallons of fuel. Once fully operational, KiOR expects to ship 13 million gallons of fuel a year. Columbus Dispatch
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

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Grenada, Miss., sawmill announces expansion
Fly Timber is expanding its Grenada operations — a $6 million company investment that officials say will create 30 new jobs, bringing the total number of workers employed at the facility to 80. Fly Timber, which has operated in Grenada 32 years, is a hardwood-only sawmill. It saws hardwood into mats for the oil and gas industry and cuts trim-grade hardwood and floor-grade hardwood for use in residential and commercial construction. The expansion will enable the company to also begin cutting railroad crossties that will be shipped to a lumber treatment facility via rail car. Clarion-Ledger
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

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Big River Steel CEO John Correnti Hopes for Fall Groundbreaking in Arkansas Delta
BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. - The developer behind a planned $1.1 billion steel mill in northeast Arkansas says he hopes to break ground on the project this fall if everything goes as planned. The Legislature still needs to approve $125 million in state financing for the proposed Big River Steel mill to be built near Osceola. Developer John Correnti spoke Tuesday with Mississippi County officials regarding the project. According to the Courier News, Correnti says he hopes to have a construction and operating permit by the end of April. Correnti says he hopes to break ground between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Officials say the mill will create more than 2,000 temporary construction jobs and more than 500 jobs once it's up and running. The Legislature is expected to discuss the financing next week. Arkansas Business
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

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TVA and Deloitte Consulting Name First Metro Primary Data Center Site
March 20, 2013-KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ─ The Tennessee Valley Authority and Deloitte Consulting have approved TVA’s first metro-area primary data center site in the Corridor Park in Knoxville. TVA hired Chicago-based Deloitte Consulting to identify and evaluate locations for data centers in the seven-state TVA service area. Deloitte’s study found the 10.6-acre site in Knoxville is readily accessible, has a strong telecommunications infrastructure and availability of reliable electricity ─ all criteria for a primary site for a data center company. To be considered a metro site, the location must have at least 10 acres, a minimum of 5 megawatts of power capacity and diverse fiber optic feeds available. Knoxville is one of only 20 available data center sites designated as “primary ready for development” in the TVA service area. TVA
Submitted 1 years 344 days ago

 

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Just look around at what's happening in the aerospace industry in the American South. Aerospace is really making a move to become one of the region's top two industry sectors. It’s not there yet, but if large project counts are any indication, aerospace may soon challenge the petrochemicals sector as the second largest industry in the region. Never before has the aerospace industry been so important to the South's economy. Oh, what's the No. 1 industry sector in the South? Automotive is, of course. That industry hasn't been challenged much for 25 years in this region, or since we’ve been counting.

 

 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     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 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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