US factory output jumps 1 per cent in July autos furniture textiles

by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Aug 15, 2014 7:35 am MDT WASHINGTON – U.S. factory output rose for the sixth consecutive month in July, led by a jump in the production of motor vehicles, furniture, textiles and metals.Manufacturing production rose 1 per cent in July compared with the prior month, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output in June was revised slightly higher to a 0.3 per cent increase. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has risen 4.9 per cent.Demand for autos surged 10.1 per cent last month, the largest increase since July 2009. The broader increase in manufacturing points to stronger growth across the economy, suggesting that manufacturers expect the pace of business investment and consumer spending to improve in the coming months.“Manufacturing will continue to add to the recovery throughout 2014 and into 2015,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services.Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, rose 0.4 per cent in July, dragged down by a 3.4 per cent drop in production at utilities.Several other reports suggest that factory production improved this summer.Manufacturers added 28,000 workers last month, according to the government’s jobs report. That builds on the 23,000 employees that factories added in June, a sign that companies expect demand to continue its upward swing.Separately, the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, reported that its manufacturing index climbed to 57.1 in July. That’s the highest level since April 2011 and up from 55.3 in June.Anything above 50 signals that manufacturing activity is growing.The increase in the index led Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, to conclude that “manufacturing payrolls may soon start to rise by close to 50,000 a month.”Factory orders rose a seasonally adjusted 1.1 per cent in June compared with the previous month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Orders had fallen 0.6 per cent in May after three straight monthly gains.An 8.4 per cent jump in demand for commercial aircraft drove much of the gain, yet orders also picked up for machinery, iron, steel, computers and electronics.Rising factory output should help the current economic expansion to continue.The U.S. economy shrank at a 2.1 per cent annual rate in the first quarter, although it bounced back at an annual clip of 4 per cent in the second quarterMost analysts expect the economy to expand at a roughly 3 per cent rate in the second half the year. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US factory output jumps 1 per cent in July; autos, furniture, textiles and metals lead gains read more

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Ash dieback screening could leave trees defenceless against deadly beetles

first_imgOur research highlights the danger of selecting trees for resilience to ash dieback at the expense of resistance to insects that threaten this iconic UK tree speciesDr Christine Sambles, University of Exeter Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Caused by the hymenoscyphus fraxineus fungus, the disease is capable of killing young trees in a single season, and older trees over several years.Screening replacement trees in order to plant only those resistant to the disease is seen as the “best hope” of saving Britain’s ash population.Since 2013, the Forestry Commission has planted around 155,550 trees across 14 locations in the South East in an attempt to find out which types are disease resistant.But the new research from the universities of Exeter and Warwick suggests the types able to resist the fungus also have very low levels of the chemicals needed to defend against insects.In particular, it leaves them defenceless against the Emerald Ash Borer beetle, which has already devastated vast tracts of ash in the US and is currently spreading westwards across Europe. It means choosing saplings on the basis of their ability to withstand dieback could simply replace one lethal problem with another.“Our research highlights the danger of selecting trees for resilience to ash dieback at the expense of resistance to insects that threaten this iconic UK tree species, said Dr Christine Sambles, who co-led the research.Ash is Britain’s most common hedgerow tree, with 60,000 miles of tree lines, and the second most common woodland tree after oak.An infection of dieback is usually fatal for a tree, and the disease can be spread on the wind and by the movement of infected logs.The Forestry Commission has said its strategy to secure the long-term future of Britain’s ash trees lies in understanding the species’ genetic structure and how some varieties can survives dieback.However, the team from Exeter and Warwick also examined in the differences in the chemical composition between tolerant and susceptible ash trees.“Plants use a vast range of chemicals to defend against fungal attack, and the primary objective was to identify differences which could be used to screen young ash trees and choose the best ones for replanting, said Professor Murray Grant, from Warwick.“Our findings underline the need for further research to ensure that we select ash trees resilient to present and future threats.”Emerald Ash borer, a beetle which kills ash trees within two or three years, is not yet in the UK but is high on the Government’s plant risk register.In October the Woodland Trust announced it would launch an accreditation and labelling scheme for trees sold at nurseries as a guarantee that they have been grown in Britain from British seed.The “Buy British” initiative is intended to try to prevent foreign pests entering UK woodlands.An estimated six million trees were brought into Britain in the past three years, including 1.1 million oaks. Attempts to stall the spread of Ash dieback may backfire because trees selected to withstand the disease are particularly vulnerable to deadly attacks by insects, new research reveals.The “unexpected” data has prompted warnings from scientists about the hidden dangers of screening projects, such a major initiative currently being run by the Forestry Commission.The current outbreak of dieback, also called Chalara, was first detected in a nursery in Buckinghamshire in 2012, leading to fears the UK ash tree population could be all but wiped out.last_img read more

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