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BusINess » Economy

Posts Tagged ‘Economy’

Fixing an ailing business culture has helped Youngstown

Various awards for Turning Technologies sit on display at its downtown office in Youngstown, Ohio. Turning Technologies produces software and hand-held devices used in school classrooms and business boardrooms in testing or audience engagement. Many business leaders mention the company among the city's gems. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times)

Various awards for Turning Technologies sit on display at its downtown office in Youngstown, Ohio. Turning Technologies produces software and hand-held devices used in school classrooms and business boardrooms in testing or audience engagement. Many business leaders mention the company among the city's gems. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio | Convincing people this city is open for business has been a battle during the last several decades.

The economic effect of the decline in manufacturing jobs since the 1970s has rolled through the area, accelerating a decline in industry-dependent businesses and those relying on workers’ incomes.

Investing in declining urban areas can be a tough sell, despite a glut of available real estate and a labor pool clamoring for opportunities.

But in the last few years, the city and region have been able to secure major job commitments from a steel company, a call center operator, a software developer and other employers.
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Region business leaders say jobs still missing jolt from recovery

Tim Roper, of Smith Auto Group, speaks at The Times Board of Economists luncheon Feb. 9 at the Radisson in Merrillville. Roper said when serious job creation finally starts, buyers will return to auto showrooms. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Tim Roper, of Smith Auto Group, speaks at The Times Board of Economists luncheon Feb. 9 at the Radisson in Merrillville. Roper said when serious job creation finally starts, buyers will return to auto showrooms. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Northwest Indiana business executives are seeing the signs of a sustained—yet slow—economic recovery in the region this year.

But the 22-member Times Board of Economists is split on how quickly challenges such as elevated unemployment will be resolved to provide a boost for sectors such as manufacturing, entertainment and real estate.
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NWI-based banks show positive 4Q earnings

Centier Bank, Citizens Bank and Horizon Bank all reported improved fourth-quarter earnings compared to the same period in 2010.

Bank executives said continued economic improvement could sustain progress made since the end of the recession.

Centier Bank

Lowering its loss on securities sales, Centier Bank turned a fourth-quarter profit of $10.2 million.

In the three months ended Dec. 31, the Merrillville-based family-owned bank turned its highest profit level in 2010, compared to a $26.6 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2009.
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Dow over 12,000 as remarkable bull market rolls on

Two years ago, the stock market was roadkill along the financial highway. Now one of the greatest bull markets in history is rolling along—maybe enough to finally get the attention of average investors.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 12,000 for the first time in two and a half years Tuesday, putting the Great Recession even farther in the rearview mirror and erasing most of the damage it inflicted on tens of millions of retirement accounts.

A broader measure of the stock market, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, closed above 1,300 for the first time since Aug. 28, 2008. And at least one widely watched measure suggests stocks are still cheap by historical standards.
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More robust spending helps economy gain steam

The economic recovery is now consistently picking up speed, and American consumers are the ones pushing the gas pedal. They increased their spending late last year at the fastest pace since 2006.

The question now is whether they can spend enough this year to make the economy grow even faster and finally bring down unemployment. It’s up to them because the housing market and government spending aren’t offering much help.
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U.S. Steel sees markets improving after 4Q loss

U.S. Steel, whose Gary Works facility is shown, is “cautiously optimistic” that the economy will grow stronger in the first quarter. It expects more shipments and higher production volume to outpace rising raw material costs. (Photograph by Heather Eidson, file/The Times.)

U.S. Steel, whose Gary Works facility is shown, is “cautiously optimistic” that the economy will grow stronger in the first quarter. It expects more shipments and higher production volume to outpace rising raw material costs. (Photograph by Heather Eidson, file/The Times.)

U.S. Steel Corp. officials see signs that business will improve this year, with rising steel prices and more orders across its customer base. The turnaround likely will hinge on the pace of the global economic recovery.

U.S. Steel is “cautiously optimistic” the economy will grow stronger in the first quarter. It expects more shipments and higher production volume to outpace rising raw material costs.

On Tuesday, U.S. Steel reported a smaller fourth-quarter loss after it sold assets and cut spending on facility repair and maintenance.
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103K new jobs in Dec. point to slow, steady growth

The nation’s economy added 103,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months.

But the job growth fell short of expectations based on a strengthening economy. And the drop in unemployment was partly because people stopped looking for work.

Private employers added a net total of 113,000 jobs last month and the government shed 10,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday.
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Region police departments see pros, cons to E85 initiative

E85 is available in only 26 locations across Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties such as this gas station at 109th and Randolph Street in Winfield. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

E85 is available in only 26 locations across Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties such as this gas station at 109th and Randolph Street in Winfield.
(Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Region police departments trying to replace aging squad cars with newer ones capable of burning plant-based E85 are finding the task isn’t as simple as choosing where to gas up.

The Griffith Police Department has more than 20 police cars capable of using E85, but they run on gasoline because gas stations in town don’t dispense E85, and the town doesn’t own an E85 tank.

Cars that run on E85 have a better acceleration rate than cars burning regular gasoline and emit less pollution than gas-fed counterparts.
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Economy drove news in 2010

Jesse Paloger holds up a sign while standing on Wall Street as he hopes to find a job, in New York. Paloger, who has an accounting and economics degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, has written on the bottom of his sign, “Go-getter from California looking for my shot!” Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits during the first full week of December, the third drop in the past four weeks and a sign that the job market is slowly improving. (Photograph by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press.)

Jesse Paloger holds up a sign while standing on Wall Street as he hopes to find a job, in New York. Paloger, who has an accounting and economics degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, has written on the bottom of his sign, “Go-getter from California looking for my shot!” Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits during the first full week of December, the third drop in the past four weeks and a sign that the job market is slowly improving. (Photograph by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press.)

Dismal signals mixed with glimmers of hope as the U.S. economy drove the news in 2010; the nation began a fledgling recovery from the worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression.

From charitable giving to local government, from real estate to transportation, all eyes were fixed on the economy’s twists and turns—which had the potential to spell ruin or salvation for companies, governments and people’s lives.
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Stocks stumble after unemployment rises to 9.8 pct

An unexpected increase in the U.S. unemployment rate pushed stocks down Friday as investors moved money into safer assets.

The unemployment rate climbed to a seven-month high in November as employers added only 39,000 jobs. Economists had forecast a gain of 145,000.

The unemployment rate climbed to 9.8 percent from 9.6 percent.
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