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Greetings!

 

Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner

 

In this issue:
Alabama-made auto sales rise 6 percent in strong year for U.S. industry
Job creation steady in December, unemployment at 7.8%
Alabama the nation's fastest growing economy? Projections look better than ever
Huntsville to host national manufacturing network workshop
Chinese officials close to naming venture's site...Haddock: News today involves old country club
Harbert wins $292 million contract for embassy in Indonesia
A luxury year: Mercedes-Benz reports record U.S. sales for 2012

 


 

 

Alabama-made auto sales rise 6 percent in strong year for U.S. industry
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
on January 03, 2013 

U.S. sales of Alabama-made vehicles grew 6 percent in 2012, a strong year for an industry that saw demand return to a level not seen in five years.

Combined sales of the cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans built by Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai in this state totaled 753,151 last year, compared to 708,805 in 2011.

For December alone, sales rose 10 percent to 69,256.

 

The biggest winners for the year, volume-wise, were the Hyundai Sonata sedan and the Hyundai Elantra compact, which both broke the 200,000 mark.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 


 


 

Job creation steady in December, unemployment at 7.8%

Posted by Neil Irwin on January 4, 2013 

 

The job market continued its steady gains in the final weeks of 2012, as employers apparently shrugged off the standoff in Washington over the fiscal cliff and kept adding to their payrolls.

 

Employers added 155,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said, which is close to analysts' forecasts and consistent with job growth over the last several months. The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December, unchanged from its revised level in November (that month's jobless rate had previously been reported at 7.7 percent).

 

Both numbers point to steadiness in the labor market, a jobs picture that continues to improve, but not particularly rapidly and at neither an accelerating nor decelerating pace. The economy in December was what we thought it was: Trudging along consistently.

 

The gain of 155,000 jobs in December is little different from the average pace of gains over the last three months (151,000 jobs a month), or the last six months (160,000), or the full year 2012 (153,000). It is a pace that should bring unemployment down slowly but steadily over time.

 

 

[Washington Post]

 

 

 

 


 

Alabama the nation's fastest growing economy? Projections look better than ever
By Alex Walsh | awalsh@al.com 
on January 03, 2013

A new economic growth projection estimates that Alabama's economy will see the second-largest amount of growth among all 50 states over the next six months.

The projection is built by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, as an estimator for economic growth across the country. The so-called leading index uses two state-specific components (housing permits, initial claims of unemployment insurance) and two national indicators (interest rates on Treasuries, total manufacturing growth) to estimate growth. 

Alabama has posted strong leading index scores for three straight months now, and its November index score is its highest ever since the Philly Fed began its estimations.


more...




 


 

Huntsville to host national manufacturing network workshop
By Martin Swant | mswant@al.com 
on January 03, 2013 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Later this month, Huntsville will host some of the beginning talks for a $1 billion manufacturing network that President Barack Obama hopes will connect new technologies, manufacturers and start-up companies to spur innovation across the country. 

 

The event on Jan. 16 -- organized by the U.S. Dept. of Defense, NASA and the University of Alabama at Huntsville -- will be the first public meeting for how best to create 15 U.S. centers where states, cities, companies and colleges can collaborate to apply new technologies in ways that improve U.S. manufacturing and innovation.

 

The Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office at the National Institute of Science and Technology is spearheading the program.  

 

The workshop will be held at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, with limited seating. Registration ends on Monday. 

more...


 


 


Chinese officials close to naming venture's site
Haddock: News today involves old country club
1/3/13
By Mike Goens
Managing Editor

FLORENCE - A Chinese company partnering with the University of North Alabama to develop an integrative health program appears ready to move forward on selecting a site for the endeavor, officials said Wednesday.

They said a news conference is scheduled today to discuss the project.

 

Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock confirmed a news conference is scheduled but declined to elaborate on the purpose of the gathering other than to say it involves the old Florence Golf and Country Club property. The city bought the property for $2 million in November 2009.

 

Zhang Zhiting, chairman of Shenqi Ethnic Medicine College, said he wants to work with UNA students and others in the Shoals to study and research changes in the mindset people have toward health care and lifestyle. Zhiting has stated he wants his company to be on the cutting edge of that change.

 

The company's headquarters is in the Guizhou Province of China.

Company officials have been in the Shoals in recent months in search of a campus-type site for the program, which provides credit hours in UNA's master's degree offering in health and human performance.


  more...



 


 


 

Harbert wins $292 million contract for embassy in Indonesia
By Stan Diel | sdiel@al.com 
on January 04, 2013 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - B.L. Harbert International LLC has won a contract to build a new U.S. Embassy compound in Jakarta, Indonesia, the company announced.

 

The $292 million contract was awarded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. PageSoutherlandPage won the contract for design services

.

Birmingham-based Harbert has won contracts to build several embassies recently. In December it was awarded a $116 million contract to build an embassy in the west African nation of Benin, and a $103 million contract for an embassy in Mbabne, Swaziland. Other recent embassy projects include compounds in Morocco and Laos.



more...

[al.com]

 

 

 

 


 


 

A luxury year: Mercedes-Benz reports record U.S. sales for 2012
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
on January 03, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Luxury German automaker Mercedes-Benz said today that it sold a record high number of vehicles in the U.S. last year, and its Alabama-made models contributed to that performance.

 For 2012, the company reported sales of 274,134 Mercedes models, a 12 percent improvement from 2011. Including the Smart and Sprinter lines, sales rose 15.4 percent to 305,072.

For December alone, sales of the Mercedes line grew 9.5 percent to 28,145, while total sales increased 12 percent to 31,372.

 

Two of the automaker's state-built SUVs also posted year-over-year gains.While sales of the M-Class SUV dropped 20 percent in December to 4,241, full-year sales rose 6 percent to 38,101. For the GL-Class SUV, December sales increased 21 percent to 3,111, while 2012 sales grew 3.6 percent to 26,042.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 





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