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That's The Randle Report for January 16, 2017
Join us again tomorrow morning for all of the American South's business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window to find any story you need to find from last week, last month, last year or several years ago. Click on the headline above to access Southern Business & Development's website, the economic development magazine of the American South; the fourth largest economy in the world.
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Fed's Harker: 'Considerable strength' in the economy, 3 rate hikes appropriate
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Thursday the U.S. economy is displaying considerable strength and three interest rate hikes this year would be appropriate, in line with policymakers' previous expectations. Harker, speaking on the economic outlook before the Main Line Chamber in Malvern, Pennsylvania, said 2017 is starting off on a "good foot" and inflation expectations are starting to rally. Still, he said monetary policy is a "limited set of tools" and growth policies are up to elected officials. CNBC
Submitted 11 hours ago

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US Chamber of Commerce warns Trump on trade
Washington needs to trade with foreign markets if it wants to boost domestic growth, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned on Monday. "President-elect Trump's focus is on strengthening the U.S economy through tax reform, deregulation, infrastructure spending, and smarter energy policies but you can't get the growth by ignoring the reality that we have to sell to 95 percent of the market that lives outside the U.S," said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the federation. CNBC
Submitted 11 hours ago

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Fed's Evans says labor constraints may doom bid to boost economy
Aggressive fiscal and other policies could push U.S. economic growth to 4 percent in the short run, but would raise inflation risks unless coupled with strategies to boost productivity or expand the labor market, Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said on Thursday. Evans did not mention the proposals of President-elect Donald Trump specifically, but said U.S. growth will remain stunted unless the labor force or productivity grow unexpectedly. "The U.S. economy could experience a burst of 4 percent growth for a year," Evans said while speaking on a panel in Naples, Florida. But "it is not possible to just birth a large cohort of 25-year-olds." CNBC
Submitted 11 hours ago

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Lockheed Martin says it's adding 1,800 jobs in Fort Worth
Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) CEO Marillyn Hewson told a pool of reporters Friday after her meeting with president-elect Donald Trump that the company will add 1,800 jobs to its Fort Worth facility. Hewson called it a "great meeting" with Trump and also said the company was going to cut costs on the next batch of F-35 fighter jets set to be delivered to the Pentagon. "I’m glad I had an opportunity to tell him that we are close to a deal that will bring the cost down significantly from the previous lot of aircraft," she told reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. Dallas Business Journal
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Florida-based Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to close after 146 years
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down. There isn’t any one thing, Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, said in an Associated Press report Saturday night. “Ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop,” Feld wrote in a post at the Ringling Bros. website. “This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.” The final performance for the 146-year-old circus is in May. Feld said the decision is a tough one. “We know Ringling Bros. isn’t only our family business, but also your family tradition,” he said in the posted message. Tampa Bay Business Journal
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San Antonio may have more than 100 million reasons to fight Texas bathroom bill
There are some San Antonians concerned that if Texas lawmakers approve Senate Bill 6 — better known as the bathroom bill — that vote could sway the NCAA to pull the 2018 Men’s Final Four from the Alamo City. A new study by San Antonio economist believes such a move would cost the city well over $100 million in lost economic activity associated with the championship event. Nivin, chief economist for the SABER Research Institute, has completed a new study which projects that the 2018 Final Four — the first scheduled for San Antonio since 2008 — will generate an economic impact of $135 million. Nivin, who produced the study for the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee, predicts that 71,000 visitors will travel to San Antonio for the tournament, spending money on tickets, hotel rooms, food and other entertainment venues. San Antonio Business Journal
Submitted 12 hours ago

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam lays out blueprint for health care reform
Gov. Bill Haslam is pushing Congress to give states more control over reforms to health care. The Tennessean reports that Haslam’s 19-page blueprint was issued in response to a solicitation for feedback from governors that was made by U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “We have long advocated for more flexibility in TennCare, our Medicaid program, and we believe states must receive meaningful relief from the federal constraints that exist today in order to be successful in the management of our health care systems,” Haslam writes. Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 12 hours ago

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Where you can get your hands on this $10,000 bottle of bourbon
Have expensive tastes? This bottle of bourbon is just for you. The circa-1982 bottle from Buffalo Trace Distillery's OFC Vintage Collection is valued at $10,000 by the bourbon maker. The OFC Distillery was the predecessor to Frankfort-based Buffalo Trace, and the lead-free crystal bottle is a replica of an OFC decanter dating back to the early 1900s found in the Buffalo Trace Distillery archives, according to a news release from ElderServe. Louisville Business First
Submitted 12 hours ago

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Energy companies start hiring as producers look to drill 'more intelligently'
Wood Mackenzie is forecasting that upstream investment will rise in 2017 for the first time since the oil downturn began in 2014, according to a report released by the U.K.-based research analysis firm. And through the accompanying production growth, oil companies aren’t going to give up efficiency gains made during the downturn lightly. That translates to more jobs for engineers and geoscientists based out of headquarters in cities like Houston as companies seek to develop their shale plays "more intelligently," said Julie Wilson, Wood Mackenzie's research director for global exploration, based out of Houston. Houston Business Journal
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Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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