Seven journalists from national trade publications visited northeast Indiana this week to learn more about the region’s food processing industry.
Employment in the food manufacturing sector has fallen 6 percent nationally since 2001. But during the same period, it has increased 29 percent in northeast Indiana.
This is the third media tour hosted by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Indiana Michigan Power since 2011. Their goal is to increase national awareness of the region in the hopes that it will lead to more business investment here.
John Sampson, president and CEO of the partnership, said in a written statement that focusing economic development efforts on key industries helps support existing business expansion and attract new employers.
Wholesale prices rise 0.7% on gas spike
A measure of U.S. wholesale prices rose in February by the most in five months, pushed higher by more expensive gas and pharmaceuticals. But outside those increases, inflation was mild.
The producer price index grew a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in February from January, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s up from 0.2 percent in the previous month. Wholesale gas prices increased 7.2 percent.
Even with the increase, wholesale prices have risen just 1.7 percent in the past 12 months. That’s below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent inflation target. Mild inflation gives the Fed more latitude to continue with its aggressive policies to spur more economic growth.
The index measures the cost of goods before they reach consumers. Wholesale prices are what manufacturers and farmers receive for their products from retailers and distributors.
Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core wholesale prices rose only 0.2 percent last month. In the past 12 months, core prices have increased 1.7 percent.
Jobless aid requests reach 5-year low
Fewer Americans sought unemployment aid last week, reducing the average number of weekly applications last month to a five-year low. The drop shows that fewer layoffs are strengthening the job market.
The Labor Department said Thursday that applications fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 332,000. That reduced the four-week average to 346,750, the lowest since the week of March 8, 2008, three months after the recession began.
The report provides further evidence of a gradual strengthening in labor market conditions, Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.
Brake issue prompts Honda vehicle recall
Honda is recalling nearly 250,000 vehicles worldwide for brakes that can suddenly kick in even when the driver isn’t braking.
No crashes have been reported related to the defect.
Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it was recalling more than 183,000 vehicles in the U.S., including the Acura RL, Acura MDX and Pilot models.
More than 56,000 vehicles were recalled in Japan, affecting the Odyssey, Legend, StepWgn and Elysion models.
Also being recalled are nearly 8,000 vehicles in Canada, nearly 1,000 in Australia, about 300 in Mexico and 70 in Germany. The vehicles were produced from March 2004 through May 2006.