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Economic News

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Economists Believe Recovery Still Has Potential To Accelerate.

USA Today (6/21, Patterson) reports that according to economists, “the US economy is at a pivot point, teetering between another downturn and a return to the growth path it was on until earlier this year. … One corner of the economy that could tip the scales toward renewed growth: a bounce in auto sales and manufacturing in the second half of the year.” But economists say “growth isn’t likely to surge,” though “it could tick up enough to reverse the slowdown seen in the second quarter, fueled in part by a rebound in the auto sector, which took a hit after a devastating tsunami struck Japan and crimped supply lines and sales.”

Last Decade Saw Economic Growth In Texas, Decline In Michigan. USA Today (6/21, Cauchon) reports, “Texas became the USA’s second-largest economy during the past decade — displacing New York and perhaps heading one day toward challenging California — in one of the biggest economic shifts in the past half-century.” Meanwhile, “North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia all” overtook “one-time industrial powerhouse Michigan in economic size from 2000 to 2010.”

Manufacturing Comeback Boosting Rust Belt In 2011.

McClatchy (6/21, Pugh) reports, “The economic recovery may have stalled in parts of the South and West hit hard by the housing bubble, but Rust Belt states, buoyed by a manufacturing comeback, have seen a steady decline in their jobless rates over the last year.” McClatchy adds that “of the 10 states where unemployment rates dipped the most from May 2010 to May 2011, Rust Belt states — Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois — account for half, according to Labor Department figures.”

Michigan’s Business Climate Improves, But Lags Other States. The AP (6/21) reports, “Michigan’s business climate is improving but still lags more competitive states, according to a report released Monday by Business Leaders for Michigan during a Lansing conference attended by about 300 business leaders.” The report found that Michigan “is starting to recover from its decade-long economic slump as its unemployment rate creeps down and per-capita income growth inches up.” At the same time, however, the state “isn’t doing a very good job selling its strong points to corporate leaders considering places to locate,” the report found.

Michigan-Area’s Manufacturers “Come Roaring Back.” The AP (6/21) reports that those Muskegon, Michigan-area manufacturers that survived the recession “have come roaring back” since the downturn ended and “have a great deal to celebrate during manufacturing month this May.” The AP profiles several of the companies, and notes that many of them are also optimistic about their futures. Mark Fazakerley, co-owner of Eagle Alloy said, “I think this recovery is going to continue.” He added, “The strongest and most immediate job growth in Muskegon County will be in manufacturing. The remaining manufacturers in Muskegon are pretty stable and are well run operations.”

Stocks Finish Higher.

The AP (6/21, Choe, Randall) reports, “Investors largely put aside their concerns about the Greek financial crisis Monday and focused instead on value. Stocks rose broadly after the market shook off its longest weekly losing streak in nearly a decade.” The S&P “rose 6.86 points, 0.5 percent, to close at 1,278.36. The Dow Jones industrial average added 76.02 points, or 0.6 percent, to 12,080.38. The Nasdaq composite gained 13.18, or 0.5 percent, to 2,629.66.” The Wall Street Journal (6/21, Conway, Subscription Publication), among other news outlets, also reports the story this morning.

Virginia Exports Increased 8 Percent In 2010.

The AP (6/21) reports, “Virginia exports increased 8 percent in 2010 to $29 billion, ranking it as the 22nd-largest exporting state in the US, according to recent data from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s international trade office.” These higher exports are “having a large impact on the state’s economy.” Paul H. Grossman Jr., director of international trade and investment for the office, said the weak dollar had played a large part in the state’s success with exports. Grossman also noted “that Virginia has received funding for programs to help companies expand exports to emerging nations that have a surging middle class by putting them face-to-face with foreign buyers.”

From SME Daily Executive Briefing 6/21/2011


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