GF Business News: GFK… Econ Survey & Target Sales
U.S. industrial production rose 0.5% in November, with output at the country’s factories reaching its highest level since January 2019. November’s gain follows an even larger 1.7% increase in October, which represented a rebound after a 1% drop in production in September. September’s drop reflects serious supply chain issues.
New home construction in the United States rebounded 11.8% in November, as strong demand continues to boost builder confidence, even as the slower winter season approaches. The double-digit percentage increase last month left residential construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.68 million units, an 8.3% increase from the rate at the same time last year.
A new monthly survey of rural bankers in 10 plains and western states shows the economy remains strong in the region, but some bankers said they were concerned about the impact of inflation on farmers. The overall economic index fell from 67.7 in November to 66.7 in December, but any score above 50 suggests growth. The report covers North Dakota… South Dakota… and Minnesota.
North Dakota’s eight commercial airports recorded 83,429 passenger boardings in November. This is a 95% increase from November 2020, but down 12.5% from the number of pre-pandemic boardings in 2019. Fargo, Dakota’s largest commercial service airport in the North, recorded its best month of November with 37,911 passengers on board. Grand Forks Airport handled 6,349 passengers last month. The 62,079 boardings to date in 2021 are almost 20,000 more than for the whole of last year at GFK.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded grants totaling $ 2,425,000 to 14 organizations representing communities in Minnesota to increase the supply of quality child care providers to support regional economic development. Among the organizations expected to receive funding: Prairie Pines Childcare Center, Fosston, $ 240,000… Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Bemidji. $ 224,000… Town of Warren, Warren, $ 210,000… Greater Bemidji, Inc, Bemidji, $ 140,000.00
Mark Watne de Velva was named the ninth year president of the North Dakota Farmers Union by more than 500 members attending the state’s 95th annual convention. In other elections, South Heart’s Bob Kuylen was re-elected vice-president. Jon Iverson was re-elected District 1 Director for Benson, Cavalier, Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Towner and Walsh counties.
Xcel Energy today announced its intention to recognize Ben Fowke, executive chairman of Xcel Energy, by renaming the Grand Meadow wind farm in southern Minnesota as Ben Fowke Wind Energy Center. Fowke was Managing Director for a decade, from 2011 to 2021. Grand Meadow, a 100 megawatt wind farm, was commissioned in 2008. Fowke’s last day at Xcel Energy will be December 31, 2021.
Target is heading into the home stretch of the holiday season with a lot of momentum. CEO Brian Cornell reports that holiday sales have continued to remain strong even amid concerns about the new omicron variant. Like its big-box rivals, Target has been able to tackle industry-wide challenges such as labor shortages, inflation and supply chain grunts as the discounter keeps its shelves full and is armed with a full seasonal staff. the
A sharp increase in postage rates over the summer hasn’t stopped catalog retailers from filling mailboxes this holiday season. The U.S. Postal Service says more than 300 million catalogs were flooded into people’s mailboxes last month, and overall the number of catalogs is up 12% from a year ago. The push continues a positive trend for cataloguers who challenge those who predicted their demise in a digital world.
Subaru is recalling approximately 200,000 vehicles in the United States because a chain in the transmission could break, causing loss of power. The recall affects certain 2020 Legacy and Outback vehicles, as well as certain 2019 and 2020 Ascent SUVs. Subaru says in documents released Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators that a programming error in the transmission control computer may leave the clutch engage before the drive chain is blocked.