Business & Economy

Business & Economy
6:41 am
Tue October 22, 2013

State Jobless Numbers Delayed

NC jobless figures delayed because of government shut down.
Credit NC Policy Watch

The state Commerce Department was scheduled to release North Carolina’s September jobless rate today.  But figures are on hold because of the federal government shut down.

Just like every other state across the country, North Carolina’s jobless numbers are crunched by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  But the 16-day government shutdown has resulted in a delay to the states.  Most of the people responsible for analyzing the data were furloughed.

Read more
Business & Economy
10:16 am
Mon October 21, 2013

New Members For High Speed Rail Commission

Credit Mark Hogan / Flickr Creative Commons

The state DOT is swearing in new members of a high speed rail commission in North Carolina. 

Four members of the General Assembly and a Raleigh attorney will be named Monday to the Virginia-North Carolina High Speed Rail Compact.  Crews are working to upgrade tracks between Charlotte and Raleigh now for the corridor that's planned to run from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.  Supporters of the project have said high speed rail is key infrastructure.  Opponents have called it too costly. 

Read more
Business & Economy
7:59 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Record Rains Delay NC's Sweet Potato Crop

Varieties of NC-grown sweet potatoes
Credit NC Sweet Potato Commission

Buyers of sweet potatoes grown in North Carolina will likely pay more for them at the market this year. North Carolina sweet potato growers have led the nation for years in producing the root crop.  State agriculture estimates are that Tar Heels last year produced about 47 percent of the crop nationally.

But Sue Johnson-Langdon of the non-profit North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission says this year's yield fell victim to mid-year rainfall that ranks among the wettest in more than a century.  

Read more
Business & Economy
8:06 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Raleigh's General Parts International Sold To Advance Auto

A Virginia auto parts company is buying North Carolina-based General Parts International for more than $2 billion.

Advance Auto Parts says its acquisition will create the largest automotive replacement parts provider in North America.  GPI is based in Raleigh and operates under the CARQUEST and Worldpac brand names. 

Advance spokeswoman Shelly Whitaker says the companies have not yet decided how the move will affect GPI's 500 workers in Raleigh.

"It's business as usual for the immediate future," she says.

Read more
The State of Things
11:55 am
Wed October 16, 2013

New Trade Deal Called NAFTA On Steroids

The leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership member states.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

    

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the biggest thing to hit international trade since the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Negotiations are ongoing between 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, Canada, Vietnam and Chile. Advocates say the agreement is necessary to ensure smooth trade between nations. Opponents call it a corporate power grab.

Read more
Business & Economy
7:34 am
Mon October 14, 2013

N.C. Mortgages On Hold During Govt. Shutdown

Credit City of Raleigh

North Carolina banks say the ongoing government shutdown means many mortgage applications are idle.

The Internal Revenue Service usually sends tax records to mortgage lenders to verify a client's income, but IRS workers are among the federal employees who are in their 14th day of mandatory furloughs.  Banks are still processing mortgages, but taking a risk if they approve them.

Read more
The State Of Things
11:59 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Wood Pellets Industry Booming In Eastern Carolina

Wood Pellets
Credit Credit: Wikimedia

  The European Union recently set an aggressive goal for 20 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. They turned to the American South as the primary supplier of wood pellets, a renewable alternative to coal. But some environmentalists claim pellets are not a viable carbon-neutral resource and the pellet industry is fostering environmentally hazardous logging practices.

Read more
Business & Economy
9:23 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Economic Growth Revives Wake Library Projects

An artist's rendering of the Northeast Regional Library planned for Raleigh.
Credit Streamside Perspective / Wake County

Commissioners in Wake County have started the process of reviving construction projects for new libraries.  The board voted Monday night to revisit plans for a regional library in northeast Raleigh. 

The county drew up a design in 2007, but construction was postponed during the recession.  Voters passed a $45 million bond that year for library projects across the county, but commissioner Phil Matthews suggested this week that staff members should review population growth before going ahead with other plans in Garner, Cary and Fuquay-Varina.

Read more
Business & Economy
5:41 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

European Vote Could Hurt NC Tobacco Exports

Tobacco at Strickland Farms
Credit Leoneda Inge

U.S. tobacco growers are watching new regulations being considered across the Atlantic.  The European Parliament is set to vote on guidelines that would curtail the use of additives in tobacco that provide flavorings to the plant. 

Burley tobacco -- produced mainly in Kentucky -- contains a number of additives that change the taste.  North Carolina has some burley growers, but mostly exports flue-cured tobacco.  N.C. State extension economist Blake Brown says any new regulations could hurt tobacco farmers.

Read more
Business & Economy
8:17 am
Fri October 4, 2013

PNC Survey Shows Weak Business Optimism

Credit PNC Bank

A PNC survey shows small to mid-sized business owners across the state are less optimistic about doing business than they were six months ago.  The PNC Economic Outlook survey shows 8 percent of business owners intend to add full-time employees.  Nationwide, it’s 16 pecent.

PNC Economist Mekael Teshome says  North Carolina business owners continue to report weak sales and are being extremely cautious.

Read more

Pages