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Little Rock Metro Sets Export Record in 2012
The Little Rock metro produces a record number of exports in 2012, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. Merchandise exports from the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metropolitan area totaled a record $2.4 billion, an increase of 171 percent or $1.5 billion from 2011 to 2012. The top merchandise export categories from the central Arkansas metro included transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, computer and electronic products, machinery and primary metal manufactures. The top trading partners came from the Middle East region and the European Union. Arkansas Business
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Alabama Governor touts economic recovery
RED BAY — Robert Bentley was a practicing physician before becoming Alabama’s governor three years ago. So, perhaps it was only fitting that he made a house call Thursday to Franklin County’s westernmost town. The trip was part of Bentley’s Road to Economic Recovery Tour. The stop made him the first sitting governor in more than 20 years to visit Red Bay. “The Road to Economic Recovery Tour is about seeing different areas of the state and seeing how people are doing,” Bentley said, during a brief stop at the Red Bay City Hall. “I love to go to the cities and meet people. The people are who make these cities what they are.” Decatur Times-Daily
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Huntsville ranks No. 3 on list of best places for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math graduates
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Financial literacy and consumer advocacy site NerdWallet has named Huntsville as one of America's top 10 best metro areas for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates. The Rocket City ranked No. 3 on a list with other major U.S. metro areas such as San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Arlington, Va., and Seattle. In Huntsville, about 20 percent of total jobs call for a STEM bachelor's degree or higher, while the average salary for a STEM job requiring a four-year degree or higher is $91,873, NerdWallet reports. al.com
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear Announces General Dynamics Corp. to Create 1,300 Jobs in London and Winchester
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 12, 2013) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), plans to create up to 1,300 new jobs at facilities in London and Winchester and make significant investments at both facilities. “The Commonwealth has scored not one, but two major victories here, with 1,300 new jobs on the way to London and Winchester,” said Gov. Beshear. “General Dynamics is a global company with a tremendous array of products and services, which means a wealth of opportunities for its employees.” Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Not everything is rosy: Atlanta-based UPS lowers 2013 profit forecast, cites slow economy
UPS cut its 2013 earnings forecast, saying a slowing U.S. economy hurt second-quarter profit and revenue. The stock dropped the most since 2011. Adjusted earnings fell to $1.13 a share in the second quarter, marking the first drop in more than three years and missing analysts’ estimate of $1.20. Profit for the year will increase as little as 3 percent, UPS said. UPS and FedEx, often viewed as economic bellwethers because they ship goods across the world, are working to counter a shift by their customers to less expensive shipping options as domestic growth is projected to slow from 2012. UPS Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn said in the statement he expects market trends to persist. Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Gov. Pat McCrory says he has mingled among N.C. protesters
RALEIGH -- The Wilson Times reported this week that Gov. Pat McCrory said he has often entered the crowds that gather in the capital city to protest the Republican agenda and policies. He said he even got a good cussing by protesters. But in the age of mobile phone cameras and instant posting to social media, the governor seems to have moved in and out of the throngs without anyone capturing his interaction on video or film. Janet Conner-Knox, a reporter with the Wilson newspaper, met with McCrory on Wednesday while he was in town to praise Wells Fargo for expanding a loan program to farmers. Conner-Knox said on Thursday that she asked McCrory specifically about the Moral Monday demonstrations and whether he planned to ever talk with the protesters. His response, which she said she recorded, was: “I go out in the crowd all of the time. Frankly, yesterday I went out and talked to several of them and they were not very respectful. They did not represent the majority of those who call themselves ‘moral’ by cussing me out, but that’s the way things go sometimes.” Charlotte Observer
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Peachy S.C. dominance
Georgia still calls itself the Peach State. But the Palmetto State remains the No. 1 peach-growing state in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, South Carolina’s 75,000-ton total last year more than doubled No. 2 Georgia’s 33,300. And as Jade McDuffie reported in Thursday’s Post and Courier, despite a harshly cold March and heavy rains over the last month, our state of South Carolina peach-production superiority persists. South Carolina Peach Council executive director Amy Howard London gave this update in that story: “South Carolina is still leading 3-to-1 over Georgia.” Post and Courier
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Virginia records surplus of $261.9 million
The state government finished its 2013 fiscal year in June with a surplus estimated at $261.9 million. Revenue collections rose by 5.3 percent during the fiscal year, well above a growth forecast of 3.6 percent. The governor’s office attributed the increase to individual income tax receipts from non-withholding payments, lower individual income tax refunds and higher than expected recordation tax collections. The final FY 2013 surplus figures will be on Aug. 19. This is the fourth fiscal year in a row, all during Gov. Bob McDonnell’s term, that Virginia has concluded the fiscal year with a revenue surplus. The last time the state recorded surpluses in all four years of governor’s term was during the administration of George Allen, 1994-98. Virginia Business
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Smithfield, Va., workers conflicted over Chinese buyout
What’ll happen to workers at Smithfield Foods Inc. if the pork company is taken over by Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd.? Nothing bad, Smithfield executives have stressed. In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Agriculture Committee, Smithfield’s president and CEO, C. Larry Pope, repeated assurances that Shuanghui would honor agreements with unions and not close plants or cut jobs. But a jumble of emotions surface when workers and union representatives talk about the future: Virginian-Pilot
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Officials say West Virginia coal exports to face tough years
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's coal industry benefited from substantial growth in export markets in recent years, but executives from two coal companies issued a bleak forecast for the future during an industry forum in Charleston Thursday. Jack Porco, president and chief operating officer at Latrobe, Pa.-based Xcoal, and Michael Zervos, president and chief executive at United Coal, both said U.S. coal exporters will face significant challenges over the next several years. "It's going to be a tough time for coal, and it's going to be a tough time for West Virginia," Zervos said. "Only the low-cost producers are going to be able to survive," Porco said. "Not everyone is going to survive in this market." Charleston Daily Mail
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

 

 

 

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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