Tag Archives: Economy

Knoxville moves higher on Brookings report

Knoxville’s economy improved over the summer, rising two spots to 12th in the Brookings Institution’s latest “recovery performance” rankings.

The think tank’s MetroMonitor report ranks the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan economies each quarter based on job creation, unemployment rate, metro economic output and housing prices.

For the 2012 second quarter Knoxville ranks 12th overall, 18th for employment, and 14th for output and house prices.

Knoxville ranked 14th overall in the first quarter.

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Tax cuts won’t spur the recovery

Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, says Romney economic advisers Kevin Hassett and Glenn Hubbard got it all wrong in a Washington Post opinion piece published Wednesday.

Lowering marginal tax rates, as Hassett and Hubbard suggest, would do nothing to boost the economy, Baker writes in a commentary on econobytes.

“In short, it is difficult to see how the tax policy being promoted by Governor Romney will have much of a positive impact on investment and growth, especially if it is accompanied by further cutbacks in government spending. While the Obama administration’s stimulus policy was clearly inadequate to make up for the shortfall in demand created by the collapse of the housing bubble, Governor Romney’s plan is not likely to do any better,” Baker says.

No surprise that the founder of a progressive think tank would differ from the Romney camp. Nonetheless, Baker offers an interesting counterpoint to the Hassett-Hubbard suggestion that lower marginal tax rates are need to boost business investment.

Click here for Baker’s commentary.

Click here for the Hassett-Hubbard commentary.

Forward Air bumps dividend 43 percent

 

The air cargo business is doing well despite the sluggish economy and that means Forward Air shareholders will get a 42.9 percent dividend bump in September.

The Greeneville, Tenn.-based company said Tuesday its board has approved an increase in the cash dividend to 10 cents per share, up from the current 7 cents a share.

The dividend is payable on Sept. 7 to shareholders of record on Aug. 23.

 

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Knoxville economy 15th on metro recovery index

Knoxville’s economy continues to recover faster than most other metropolitan areas across the country, despite slipping slightly in the latest Brookings Institution rankings released today.

Metropolitan Knoxville’s recovery performance ranks 15th on Brookings’ most recent MetroMonitor index of economic recovery – down from 12th in the previous quarterly index.

The MetroMonitor report ranks the pace of recovery in the 100 largest metro economies based on job creation, unemployment rate, metro economic output and housing prices.

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UT report: Sluggish job creation slows recovery

Tennessee’s economy is “marginally healthier” than the national economy, but sluggish job growth continues to be a drag on the state and national economies, according to a report released today by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

Nonfarm employment in Tennessee is expected to rise 1.7 percent this year, compared to 1.5 percent growth for the nation, the report says.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate is expected to average 7.8 percent for 2012 and drop to 7. 4 percent next year. The national unemployment rate is expected to average 8.1 percent this year and fall to 7.8 percent in 2013, according CBER’s spring 2012 Tennessee Business and Economic Outlook.

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Tenn. 15th in private equity investment

Private equity investors are finding fertile opportunities in Tennessee. In 2011, 42 Tennessee-based companies received more than $3.2 billion in private equity investment , according to a report released today by the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, an industry lobbying group.

Compared to other states, Tennessee ranks 15th in total investment value. The top five states are Texas, $20.5 billion; New York, $18.6 billion; California, $15.7 billion; North Carolina, $10.4 billion; and Oklahoma, $8.7 billion.

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Analysts miss on Alcoa, what else do they have wrong?

Alcoa Inc. wasn’t supposed to have a good first quarter — not according to the experts.

But the aluminium giant fooled the analysts and opened earnings season with a surprise when it reported a first quarter profit of 9 cents a share. That’s a clear rebound from a loss of 18 cents a share in the fourth quarter last year.

If the experts can miss so badly on Alcoa, what else do the analysts have wrong?

Alcoa, which has a major manufacturing operation in Blount County with more than 1,200 employees, was supposed to be struggling with a weak economy. Maybe the economy is doing better than the experts believe.

Earnings season is just starting, but today at least investors are in a happier mood. The market as a whole is rebounding from the April slide and Alcoa shares are rising.

A voice of reason on the economy

Despite what we hear from the far right, the U.S. economy is not circling the drain.

Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher made that clear in an interview with CNBC today. Fisher said that CEOs around the country tell him that they feel better about the economy.

” …The tone is a lot better. It’s not brilliant; we don’t have enough new hiring taking place, (but we’re) definitely moving in the right direction. … Things are better than the numbers might suggest or at least moving in the right direction,” Fisher said.

Fisher noted that exports and manufacturing are picking up and that the American private sector is “the most efficient in the world. They have cut costs to the bone. They are hyperproductive. They are still sitting on a pile of cash. I’m not sure all that cash has been put to work. We know there is a lot of cash on the sidelines.”

After listening to the drumbeat of doom that is the Republican presidential primary, it’s refreshing to hear a voice of reason.

Here’s the full Fisher interview:
CNBC Video: Dallas Fed President: Economy Getting Better

More signs of strengthening economy, job creation


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New reports showing retail sales growth, increased industrial production and continued investment in business inventories are clear signs of an improving economy.

And this suggests we could see accelerated job creation in the coming months, says John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

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Tenn. farmland bringing top prices in 2012

If you’ve got farmland to sell, chances are you’ll get a good price this year, says land management company Farmers National.

Increased demand for top quality land is driving up sales prices in Tennessee and the rest of the Mid South region, the company said in a recent report on land values.

“We have seen prices increase up to 30 percent on top land in some areas with no sign of a slow-down,” Keith Morris, an area sales manager for Farmers National Co., said in a news release.

 “Product is getting harder to find, driving some buyers to look at poorer quality farms, with plans of upgrading them,” said Morris, who covers Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, western Kentucky, Louisiana, and southern Missouri.

Top Tennessee farmland is selling for an average of $3,500 per acre,Farmers National says.

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