U.S. companies got slightly more out of their workers this spring after scaling back on hiring. The modest 1.6 percent annualized gain in productivity from April through June signals employers may need to hire more if demand picks up.
The Labor Department said Wednesday the increase followed a 0.5 percent decline in the January-March quarter, less than first estimated.
Productivity is the amount of output per hour worked. Rising productivity can boost corporate profits but also slow job creation, because it means companies are getting more from their current staff and dont need to hire.
Toyota exec predicts more U.S. car plants
Toyotas top U.S. sales executive predicts that his company will add jobs and build more models in North America as a hedge against a strong yen.
Jim Lentz, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said Toyota already makes about 70 percent of the models sold in North America in the region. He sees that percentage continuing to grow.
Toyota Motor Corp. has been hammered by the strong yen, putting extra pressure on the automaker to stay lean and come up with new innovations. A strong yen cuts into overseas earnings for all Japanese automakers.
In the past eight months, the automaker has announced it would hire 3,500 workers in North America and invest $1.6 billion in factories here.
HP boosts outlook amid Whitman retool
Hewlett-Packard raised its third-quarter earnings forecast after cutting jobs to reduce costs, and announced a restructuring of its enterprise-services unit that includes an $8 billion write-down.
The net loss will be $4.31 to $4.49 a share, Hewlett-Packard said. That indicates a loss of $8.56 billion to $8.92 billion, the biggest since at least 1989, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
CEO Meg Whitman is eliminating positions across the company to counter slower demand for printers, services and data-center equipment. Shares have declined 25 percent this year.
McDonald’s revenue loses traction in July
The Golden Arches are starting to lose some of their shine.
McDonalds Corp. says a key revenue figure came in flat in July, its worst showing in more than nine years, as diners pulled back amid a rough economy. After years of outperforming rivals with a string of popular new items, the snag also suggests competition is intensifying for the worlds biggest hamburger chain.
The last time the global sales figure dipped for McDonalds was in April 2003. The figure had grown every month since then, even through the recession.
Homebuilders see increase in permits
The local home-building market is continuing its comeback, figures released Wednesday show.
The Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne said there were 71 Allen County residential construction requests in July, compared with 49 permits the same month a year ago. And year-to-date figures show a more than 16 percent increase at 407 permits.
The average price for houses sold in July was $204,686, a 1.5 percent decline, compared with $207,881 in July 2011.