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Why oil is the 'canary in the coal mine': Analyst
Since economies drive commodity prices, not the other way around, the collapse in oil is more of a demand issue than it appears, said Stephen Schork, founder and editor of The Schork Report newsletter. The influential oil analyst told CNBC on Friday that there's an "absolute glut" in crude, but the demand side of the equation can't be overlooked. "When you have such a sharp fall in commodity prices, that's because of economic demand. And I think that's a very worrisome telltale." "Oil prices are the canary in the coal mine," Schork said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "I don't think the global economy, especially in the United States, is all rainbows and unicorns right now." CNBC
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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US factory activity edges up in February: Markit
The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in February at its fastest rate since November, after notching its lowest reading in a year in the prior month, an industry report showed on Friday. Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary or "flash" U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 54.3 in February, up from the January's final reading of 53.9. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 53.6 reading. A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity. This month's output subindex rose to 56 from January's 55.7 final reading, its second straight monthly increase and best reading since October, while the employment subindex dipped to 51.7 from last month's 53.4. It was the slowest rate of factory employment growth since July, according to the report. CNBC
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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Economy’s Supply Side Sputters
For most of the past six years, the U.S. economy faced a demand problem as tight credit, economic pessimism and a fixation on reducing debt discouraged consumers, businesses and government from spending. Demand finally looks healthy again. Business is hiring at the fastest pace since 2000, consumer confidence is at prerecession levels and government austerity has come to an end. Yet as demand heals, there are growing signs that the economy has a problem with supply, or the ability of the economy to produce goods and services using all available labor, capital and know-how. Supply determines how fast the economy grows over the long term, and it largely depends on two things: the number of workers, and how productive they are. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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With disruption overseas, more manufacturers are reshoring in U.S.
American manufacturing is "reshoring" statewide as companies that once outsourced their services overseas are now facing problems that affect their business. That's according to Doug Butcher, senior vice president of industrial services for CBRE Group Inc. of Louisville. Butcher, who has been tracking global trends in manufacturing and the industrial markets, said more American companies are facing patent theft and supply chain problems that can make overseas manufacturing more hassle than its worth. Specifically, he said, some foreign companies are infringing on patented ideas by placing their names on a device produced by an American company and selling it for half the price. Business First
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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It's freezing: Time to find out which is Florida's Favorite Golf Course
It's seems like a daunting challenge – not unlike the courses themselves. Can we find Florida's favorite public golf course? We're not laying up – gonna go for the green. All four Florida Business Journals – Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa Bay and South Florida – are hosting a statewide bracket-style competition to see which is the Sunshine State's favorite course. Vote here. We took the Golf Digest list of the top 75 public courses in Florida that published in January and peeled off the top eight from each of the four Business Journal markets. Then we seeded them according to their Golf Digest ranking. Tampa Bay Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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South Florida tops in the nation for healthcare plan signups
The Sunshine State had the most signups during open enrollment for healthcare coverage in 2015 among states using the HealthCare.gov platform - with South Florida snaring the most signups among metro areas, federal officials reported Wednesday. Between the Nov. 15, 2014 and Feb. 15, 2015 open enrollment period, 1,600,006 people in Florida signed up or were re-enrolled in a health insurance plan, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Texas, with 1,189,316, had the second most signups for the period. South Florida had the most signups among major metro regions in the country, with 756,137 consumers selecting or re-enrolling in a plan. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell had the second most selections or re-enrollments in the country, with 353,879. South Florida Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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Houston's energy-dominated office market in for a reset
In response to the Saudi-driven collapse of energy prices, Houston energy companies are drastically reducing their exploration and production capacity, cutting capital projects by 30 percent or more, which will have a big impact on Houston's office real estate market. Most important to our conversation, they are dramatically reducing head counts. Houston-based Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI), Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) and Weatherford International PLC (NYSE: WFT) are just a few of the firms announcing significant layoffs. Reportedly, one-third of all oil and gas projects slated for 2015 will be canceled or postponed. Of course, new West Texas and North Dakota production is being affected, too. Watch the rig count. From peak to trough, estimates show it falling by 850 rigs over the next 18 months, which is approximately 44 percent. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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Speaker Straus rejects 'wedge issues,' says incentives important for Texas
The House cannot tie one hand behind its back if it intends to compete with other states to attract job creators to Texas, Speaker of the House Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, told the Texas Association of Business legislative conference in Austin on Feb. 18. Straus, unlike Senate leaders, has been less specific in his approach to tax cuts and incentive fund options, deferring to a discussion among the House membership. This morning, Straus said he understood criticism of the state picking winners and losers, but said an effective incentive program was important to Texas. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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Texas oil rigs won’t resume pumping in major way till 2016
Drilling activity in Texas isn't expected to rebound until next year, according to 41 percent of readers who participated in a San Antonio Business Journal online poll. We asked readers when do they expect oil-and-gas drilling to pick up steam in Texas and nationwide. The question was prompted by Baker Hughes Rig Count data that shows a steay drop in active rigs in the Eagle Ford Shale and across the country. San Antonio Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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BP expects OPEC to outpace U.S. shale
While the U.S. shale boom should continue to thrive, the Middle East and OPEC over the next 20 years should "gain ground once more" as U.S. oil production growth eventually slows, the BP PLC "Energy Outlook 2035" report contends. Although oil prices are currently plummeting, BP's 20-year outlook projects that global energy demand will keep growing and that the U.S. is likely to become self-sufficient in oil in the 2030s. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 337 days 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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