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Economic Gains Likely to Tighten Job Market, Push Up Wages

Texas Business reports: Economic indicators released over the past two months present a picture of modest growth thus far in 2014. In its first estimate, second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth came in at an annualized 4 percent, putting first-half average growth at 0.9 percent. Job gains decelerated slightly from June to July, but payrolls are still expanding at a healthy pace. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.2 percent in July.

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Global Growth Outlook Weaker but Still Positive
Texas Business reports: The world growth outlook remains positive but has weakened slightly with recent data releases, especially in emerging economies. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reduced its forecast for 2014 global growth from 3.7 percent to 3.4 percent but kept its forecast for 4 percent growth in 2015 unchanged. Global risks include the expanding credit market in China, labor market slack and low inflation in the euro-area periphery, and the fledgling recovery in Japan. Full Story »
Regional Economic Growth Builds Momentum

Texas Business reports: The regional economy picked up pace in the second quarter, with payroll employment growing at a faster rate than in the first quarter. The Texas Business Outlook Surveys (TBOS) point to an uptick in activity in June and July. The July Beige Book continued to note healthy growth and optimism in outlooks. A strong energy sector, brisk activity in commercial real estate and lower economic uncertainty all seem to be helping Texas.

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Global Growth Outlook Weaker but Still Positive
Texas Business reports: The world growth outlook remains positive but has weakened slightly with recent data releases, especially in emerging economies. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reduced its forecast for 2014 global growth from 3.7 percent to 3.4 percent but kept its forecast for 4 percent growth in 2015 unchanged. Full Story »
Texas Manufacturing Activity Picks Up Pace

Texas Business reports: Texas factory activity increased again in June, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 11 to 15.5, indicating output grew at a faster pace than in May. 

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Texas Comptroller's Office Study Shows Expensive School Construction Costs

Texas Business reports: An analysis of new school construction costs released by the Texas Comptroller’s office today shows the cost for some campuses varied by nearly $200 per square foot. And though there were different factors for the variances, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs is making policy recommendations to help school districts and taxpayers monitor construction efficiency and compare costs.


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Texas Manufacturing Activity Picks Up Pace

Texas Business reports: Texas factory activity increased again in June, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 11 to 15.5, indicating output grew at a faster pace than in May. 

 Full Story »
Texas Comptroller's Office Study Shows Expensive School Construction Costs

Texas Business reports: An analysis of new school construction costs released by the Texas Comptroller’s office today shows the cost for some campuses varied by nearly $200 per square foot. And though there were different factors for the variances, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs is making policy recommendations to help school districts and taxpayers monitor construction efficiency and compare costs.


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If Edward Hopper was at the Pecan Street Cafe Today. | aust_txbz, Edward Hopper, Pecan Street Cafe, Karnegie Musa,
If Edward Hopper was at the Pecan Street Cafe Today. | aust_txbz, Edward Hopper, Pecan Street Cafe, Karnegie Musa,
If Edward Hopper was at the Pecan Street Cafe Today. Photo by Karnegie Musa. Copyright 2014.
If Edward Hopper was at the Pecan Street Cafe Today. Full Story »
Slowdown Could Be Ahead for Advanced Economies Outside of U.S.
Texas Business reports: The pace of global growth (excluding the U.S.) remained unchanged in first quarter 2014. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in both the advanced economies (ex. U.S.) and emerging economies maintained the same pace as in fourth quarter 2013. However, recent indicators of economic activity point to a slowdown in the advanced economies (ex. U.S.) and an acceleration in the emerging economies.   Full Story »
Construction on Rio Grande Street. | Construction on Rio Grande Street, Karnegie Musa, aust_txbz,
Construction on Rio Grande Street. | Construction on Rio Grande Street, Karnegie Musa, aust_txbz,
Construction on Rio Grande Street. Photo by Karnegie Musa. Copyright 2014.
Construction on Rio Grande Street. Full Story »
Traveling Scissors Salesman Builds a Business with an Edge

To most people, scissors are just a tool for cutting. But for Aaron Ko, they have been the foundation of a promising enterprise. 

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Hotel Ella, Austin, Texas.  | Karnegie Musa, Hotel Ella, aust_txbz,
Hotel Ella, Austin, Texas.  | Karnegie Musa, Hotel Ella, aust_txbz,
Hotel Ella, Austin, Texas. Photo by Karnegie Musa. Copyright 2014.
Hotel Ella, Austin, Texas.  Full Story »
Rolling Down Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. | aust_txbz,
Rolling Down Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. | aust_txbz,
Rolling Down Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. Rolling Down Sixth Street in Austin, Texas.
Rolling Down Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. Full Story »
Texas Manufacturing Grows but at a Slower Pace

Texas Business reports: Texas factory activity increased again in May, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 24.7 to 11, indicating output grew but not strongly as in April.

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Cost of Hepatitis Drug Raises Questions About Access

A new treatment for hepatitis C is considered a breakthrough for people with the liver disease. But the high cost of the drug — about $1,000 a pill — has complicated efforts to get the medication to Texans who receive government-subsidized health care.

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Could Micro-Apartments Help Ease Austin’s Housing Crunch?

Micro-apartments, roughly the size of a two-car garage, have been making waves as a new housing option in some East and West Coast cities, but will the trend make its way to Austin? As more young people move to Austin, some city leaders say the tiny apartments could become an affordable option for a city where the cost of housing keeps rising. 

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Texas Inflation Rates

Texas Business reports: The Trimmed Mean PCE inflation rate for March was an annualized 1.9 percent. According to the BEA, the overall PCE inflation rate for March was 2.3 percent, annualized, while the inflation rate for PCE excluding food and energy was 2.1 percent. 

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Eagle Ford Shale Oil Boom Leaves Poverty In Its Wake

GONZALES – On a chilly February morning, a pickup truck pulls up to a converted gas station near the city’s downtown. Two elderly men, each wearing two jackets against the cold, enter the office of the Gonzales Christian Alliance Ministry. 

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South By Southwest Puts New Austin Bike-Sharing Program on a Roll

Austin’s fledging bike-sharing program, B-Cycle, took off during the 2014 South by Southwest festival, racking up nearly 17 times its normal usage and setting a U.S. daily bike-share usage record. Thanks largely to SXSW, Austin B-Cycle, just four months old, shows signs of rivaling San Antonio’s 3-year-old program. 

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In Power Line Dispute, Rancher Questions Wiggle Room

RHOME — Johnny Vinson is not your typical underdog. At 82, he is a rancher who has sold more land than most rural Texans could imagine owning. And he has plenty left to stand on, including more than 3,500 acres in Wise County that have ample room for dozens of gas wells, grazing cattle, a ranch house and staff living quarters. 

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S&P Wins $21.8 Million San Marcos Schools Contract

Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District awarded a $21.8 million contract to Satterfield & Pontikes Construction (S&P) for major renovations and upgrades to six of its facilities. Work will include renovations for energy efficiency, handicap accessibility, interior and exterior upgrades, and site improvements as well as construction of additional new space. 

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Old Drilling Logs Help Researchers Map Brackish Water

Daniel Ortuño pulled a small piece of Texas history from a shelf in a building at the University of Texas at Austin. The yellowing piece of paper said that on Dec. 19, 1951, John L. Boyd began drilling a 1,350-foot-deep oil well through 17 layers of shale and limestone in Crockett County in southwest Texas.


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Farmers fighting wind erosion and continued drought

Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – During the first week of April, parts of the North, East, Central and Rolling Plains regions received from 0.5 inch to 2 inches of rain, according the National Weather Service and reports from Texas A&M extension service personnel. 

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Goals, Saves and Circuits Propel UT Robot Soccer Club

Five toddler-sized robots shuffle toward the net, pursuing a red sphere slightly larger than a baseball, intent on pushing it across the goal line. A few stumble, some veer away. But one persistent player taps the ball just far enough – goal! 

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