The Journal Gazette
Thursday, February 25, 2021 1:00 am


Brunswick to add 50 more at local plant

Staff, news services

Brunswick Corp. is hiring for 50 new positions at its Fort Wayne manufacturing plant, a continuation of the 55-worker hiring spree during the past month, the company announced Wednesday.

The local operation makes Harris, Crestliner, Lund and Cypress Cay boats. Demand for boats has “increased significantly as consumers look for safe, social-distanced activities,” officials said.

Positions include assembly, welders, quality technicians, team leaders, engineers and supply chain. Wage ranges were not provided but will vary depending on the position and applicant's experience.  

Brotherhood Mutual reports strong year

Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co. had annual earnings of $3.2 million and surplus of $298 million, led by strong growth in premiums earned and investments.

The Fort Wayne-based insurer serves more than 65,000 churches, schools, colleges, camps, and mission organizations. Over the past 12 years the company has nearly doubled both its customer base and its employee base. There is also strong growth in demand for its MinistryWorks service, which is America's largest payroll and payroll tax filing service that specializes in Christian ministries.

Through the Brotherhood Mutual Foundation, the company gave back almost $1.3 million to 120 organizations in 2020, officials announced Tuesday.

Brotherhood Mutual, which employs more than 500 in northeast Indiana, returned $3.7 million to policyholders on their liability premium for their auto policy and commercial multi-peril policy. 

New-home demand up 4.3% in January

Demand for new homes in the U.S. surged 4.3% in January, with the housing market still one of the strongest segments of the economy.

Last month's increase pushed sales of new homes to an adjusted annual rate of 923,000, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. That's much stronger than the 855,000 that economists were expecting. December's new home sales figure was revised higher as well, from 842,000 to 885,000.

Only in the Northeast did sales slide, down 13.9%. Sales jumped 12.6% in the Midwest, 6.8% in the West and 3% in the South.

Powell says rates won't go up yet

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Wednesday that the central bank will not start raising interest rates until it believes its goals on maximum employment and inflation have been reached. Powell also warned that many who had worked in industries hardest hit by the pandemic and ensuing recession will likely need to find different jobs.

As he did before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Powell told the House Financial Services Committee that the Fed is in no hurry to raise its benchmark short-term interest rates or to begin trimming its $120 billion in monthly bond payments used to put downward pressure on longer-term rates.

Financial markets, which had begun to wane on fears that higher inflation might trigger an earlier-than-expected tightening of credit conditions by the Fed, rebounded on Powell's comments.

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