Last updateWed, 19 Sep 2018 3pm


NAM Economic Report Suggests Conditions Improving

Statistical evidence suggests that the economy could be poised to improve, according to numbers compiled by National Association of Manufacturers chief economic Dave Huether.


Of the eleven indicators that were released at the end of May, only one worsened: home prices continued to decline. But there were improvements in new home sales, consumer confidence, initial unemployment claims and new orders for durable goods.


Source: American Machinist


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Economist Says Midwest Economy Has Hit Bottom

A survey of supply managers and other business executives in nine Midwest and Plains states suggests that the regional economy has bottomed out.


The Mid-America Business Conditions index rose to 46.6 in May, compared with 42.7 in April and 39.7 in March.


Source: Associated Press

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Construction Spending Posts Surprising Gain

Construction spending rose 0.8 percent in April, defying economists' forecasts for a decline.


The unexpected gain - the most since August - marked the second straight month that builders boosted spending on construction projects around the country, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Economists were bracing for a 1.2 percent drop in construction spending for April.


Source: Associated Press


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U.S. Manufacturing Orders Rose Sharply in April

In a sign that business investment may be stabilizing, orders for goods like metals, machinery and electronic equipment picked up in April, the government reported on Thursday.


The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods rose 1.9 percent last month, by $3 billion to a total of $161.5 billion. That was a larger increase than expected, but it came after a sharp drop of 2.1 percent in March.


Source: New York Times


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Manufacturers Get Top Talent for Hard-to-Fill Jobs

The economic downturn has a silver lining for manufacturers whose sales haven't plummeted: a flood of highly qualified candidates even for tough-to-fill jobs like electricians and mechanics.


In December, Schebler Co., a metal fabricator specializing in industrial chimneys with 165 employees in this Mississippi River manufacturing hub, placed an ad for welders and other jobs. With the economic slowdown just settling in, Chief Executive Jim Anderson said he got 11 applicants, many with little experience.


Source: Wall Street Journal


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