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China Tells Domestic Companies -- Go Make Overseas Acquisitions
BEIJING -- China's outbound investment more than doubled in August to $12.62 billion, data showed Tuesday, far outstripping foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, which fell to a four-year low. China has been actively acquiring foreign assets, particularly energy and resources, to power its economy, with firms encouraged to "go out" and make overseas acquisitions to gain market access and international experience. Officials have said overseas direct investment (ODI) could exceed FDI this year. The 112.1% year-on-year increase in ODI announced by the commerce ministry was a dramatic contrast to the 14% fall in FDI, which sank to $7.20 billion. Both sets of figures exclude investment in financial sectors. Industry Week
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Mark Sanford’s pathetic saga with himself
As a South Carolinian, it falls to me to examine the peculiarities afflicting our former governor and now-congressman Mark Sanford, who, contrary to decorum and taste, continues to demand attention. Yes, that Mark Sanford — the erstwhile Appalachian Trail wanderer who in 2009 found himself not out hiking, as his gubernatorial staff had reported, but befuddled and besotted in Argentina with his longtime soul mate, Maria Belen Chapur. Fast-forward through a tearful news conference, during which Sanford all but plummeted to a fainting couch confessing his infidelity, through his high-profile separation from his wife, Jenny, then next to his mysterious reelection to the congressional seat he held prior to becoming governor and . . . wait, fire the writer! Not even a credulous soap opera viewer would buy a tale so tawdry and ridiculous. Not only is it not credible, it’s pathetic. Moreover, leading men do not long hold an audience after they cry over themselves. The Washington Post
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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UAW Plans Another Push at Volkswagen
The United Auto Workers union proposes to negotiate on behalf of some manufacturing workers at Volkswagen AG's auto assembly plant in Tennessee despite being rejected in an organizing vote, citing the support of about half the factory's production workforce. Gary Casteel, the UAW's secretary-treasurer, said roughly 750 Volkswagen workers have joined a recently-formed union outpost in Chattanooga, Tenn. The drive comes just months after the UAW narrowly lost an organizing vote that would have given it exclusive bargaining authority over the plant's 1,500 hourly workers. Mr. Casteel, who oversees UAW organizing activities in southern states, said the labor union won't hold another vote. Instead, it will ask Volkswagen to recognize the plant's Local 42 as a "members" union, and allow it to negotiate on behalf of those workers who have joined voluntarily. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Alabama auto industry healthier than Michigan's, says Athens State business professor
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – We all somehow knew that Alabama's auto industry has become healthier than Michigan's, but a recent study by an Athens State University business professor points out why. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the stark contrast between the two state's auto industry fortunes. From 1990 to 2008, Michigan lost more than 67,000 auto manufacturing jobs. During that time, Alabama auto manufacturing, not counting parts manufacturers, exploded from 400 jobs in 1990 to more than 10,200 in 2010. AL.com
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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In his last lap, the Rick Perry report card
Our highest executive officer has long touted his record on economics, and rightly so (see the “Texas miracle”). But can he claim the same success in public health? Or criminal justice? Or higher ed? Here’s a look at his leadership in eight areas of public policy, letter grades included. Texas Monthly
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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SunTrust Park groundbreaking (SLIDESHOW) of new stadium for Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves on Tuesday broke ground on their new Cobb County stadium complex, which will open in spring 2017. Braves legend Hank Aaron, politicians and business execs were there for the big day. SLIDESHOW on the right. Also announced, Atlanta banking giant SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) bought the naming rights to the new stadium. Financial terms were not disclosed. The 25-year deal includes marquee signage for SunTrust as well as additional signage and promotional opportunities throughout the ballpark and adjacent mixed-use complex. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Three Louisiana metro areas among top 20 in GDP growth
Metropolitan areas across south Louisiana fared well in 2013 in terms of the value of goods and services they produced. When converted to real dollars chained to 2009 values, the percentage gains in gross domestic product placed Lake Charles among the nation’s 10 fastest-growing metro areas. Two other metros — Baton Rouge and Houma-Thibodaux — were among the top 20. Those findings were gleaned from preliminary statistics released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Baton Rouge area’s GDP of nearly $52.3 billion was an increase of $2.6 billion over 2012. Its real growth rate of 6.5 percent pushed the state’s capital city area up the ladder to 17th place among the nation’s 381 metro areas. Baton Rouge Advocate
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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What a $12 Billion Auto-Parts Deal Says About the Future of Driving
ZF Friedrichshafen, a German auto-parts giant, has just agreed to shell out $11.7 billion for TRW Automotive (TRW), its Michigan-based rival. The offer represents a 16 percent premium over TRW’s recent market value, and yet for ZF it is still a safety play—literally. TRW specializes in all things accident-related, cranking out a steady stream of seat belts, airbags, and tire-pressure monitors. It has been at the forefront of so-called active-safety—systems that keep cars from drifting out of lanes and compensate for drivers who are slow on the brake. This is the bridge between old-fashioned, human driving and fully automated robot cars. It’s also the most immediate growth opportunity in the auto-parts business, which is why ZF is willing to part with almost $12 billion in cash. Business Week
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Sullivan: Electric rates will skyrocket under EPA plan
Mississippians should be aware of what’s brewing in a new proposal from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If implemented as planned, the added costs to Mississippi households, businesses, and the overall economy will be shocking. Hopefully, good sense will prevail, but we should not assume such. EPA’s unprecedented plan to alter fuels used for electric power generation in states under the guise of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions is simply not economically feasible. The economic impacts will be ruinous to U.S. competitiveness. Further, by EPA’s own admission, CO2 levels will not be significantly reduced by the proposed scheme, so this appears to be the next jab in the ideological fight against traditional energy sources that provide about 95 percent of American energy. Clarion-Ledger
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Expansion Management: Aerospace Sector Flying High in Charleston, SC
As numbers go, this is a good one. Since 2007 Charleston, S.C. has seen a 300% increase in aerospace jobs. There are 17,114 people working at 466 private aerospace firms. The largest employer is Boeing at 8,267. “We have seen major growth in this area as more talent arrives,” explains Rebecca Ufkes, president of UEC Electronics, a gold star power systems supplier to Boeing. “We have had no problem finding skilled technology workers.” In fact as of 2009, Charleston saw an 80% growth in jobs as the area is now the fastest growing mid-size metro for aircraft manufacturing in the U.S. It is also in the nation's Top 10 for workforce growth in aircraft mechanics, computer hardware and electrical engineers. Industry Week
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

 

 

 

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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