Business & Economy

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
Business & Economy
5:15 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Harris Teeter Shareholders Sign Off On Kroger Merger

Credit Mike Kalasnik via Flickr, Creative Commons

Harris Teeter shareholders have approved a plan for Kroger to acquire the Matthews-based grocery chain.  Harris Teeter officials said in a statement that 83 percent of the votes cast by shareholders were in favor of the $2.5 billion merger agreement.   The acquisition by Ohio-based Kroger still has to be approved by federal regulators. 

Read more
The State of Things
12:11 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Duke Energy's Rate Hike Stirs Controversy

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Credit Duke Energy

Energy and environment reporter Bruce Henderson updates us about the controversy over the Duke Energy rate hike

  

Attorney General Roy Cooper is challenging a rate hike by Duke Energy. The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved the increase of 4.5 percent by Duke Energy last week.

Read more

Pages