U.S. factory output spiked in January
U.S. factories cranked out more autos, furniture and food last month, boosting production by the most since July. Manufacturing output rose 0.5 percent in January, after falling in four of the previous five months, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. Overall industrial production, which includes mining and utilities, added 0.9 percent, the biggest jump in 14 months. The data could raise hopes that manufacturing may be stabilizing after output declined for much of last year. The strong dollar and weak overseas growth have cut into exports and the profits of large multinational corporations. By some measures, U.S. factories had contracted since last fall. Americans are spending at a solid pace, offsetting some of the overseas drag. Some economists have noted that manufacturing's weakness has been concentrated in sectors that are particularly sensitive to low oil prices and the global economy's health, such as aerospace and industrial machinery.
U.S. producer prices edged up slightly
U.S. producer prices edged up in January as the biggest rise in food costs in eight months offset a further decline in energy prices. The tiny overall increase indicated that inflation pressures remain modest. The Labor Department said Wednesday that its Producer Price Index rose 0.1 percent in January after having fallen 0.2 percent in December. Over the past year, the PPI, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, is down 0.2 percent. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, rose 0.4 percent in January, the biggest one-month jump in 15 months. Over the past 12 months, core inflation is up 0.6 percent. A big drop in energy prices in the past two years and a strong dollar have combined to keep inflation low.
New editor named at Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune editor Gerould Kern is retiring and will be replaced immediately by the newspaper's editorial page editor, Bruce Dold. The Chicago Tribune made the announcement Wednesday. Kern has been editor since 2008 and retires after 25 years with the company. Dold earned the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1994. He's been with the Tribune since 1978 and editorial page editor for the last 16 years.
Bombardier Inc. to cut nearly 7,000 jobs
Bombardier said it plans to cut approximately 7,000 jobs — or about 10 percent of its global workforce — over two years, even as it adds jobs in growing areas of its business. The company said Wednesday that the job cuts will include production and non-production employees, with 2,000 of the positions being contractors. It had 70,900 employees worldwide at 2015's end, according to Bombardier. The positions to be eliminated are mostly in Canada and Europe, Bombardier said. The biggest cut — 3,200 positions — will be in the transportation segment. The aerostructures and engineering services unit will eliminate 2,500 jobs, while the product development engineering, aerospace division will cut 800 positions. The business aircraft segment will eliminate 500 jobs.
T-Mobile produced a solid fourth quarter
T-Mobile US Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled, topping Wall Street expectations as the company added 2.1 million customers during the period The Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless carrier reported profit of 297 million, or 34 cents per share as revenue rose 1.1 percent to $8.25 billion. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 12 cents per share. During the quarter, added 2.1 million customers, bringing its total customer count to more than 63 million The wireless carrier said it was the 11th consecutive quarter that it added more than 1 million new customers. For the year, the company reported a profit of $733 million, or 82 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $32.05 billion.