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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 »
McCarthy Wins $41 Million in Fort Worth City Contracts

Texas Business reports:  FORT WORTH—McCarthy Building Companies Inc. won two projects with the city of Fort Worth: The Hemphill Street Connector project and the Village Creek Peak Flow Storage project. 

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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. 

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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 Gives $3.9 Million for California Omnitracs Headquarters Relocation

Texas Business reports:  Texas plans to give $3.9 million to a California firm to relocate from San Diego to Dallas. The money is packaged as a Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) investment in  Omnitracs LLC, which is relocating its headquarters from San Diego, California to Dallas.

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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. 

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Karlin Real Estate Opens Dallas Office

Texas Business reports:  Los Angeles-based Karlin Real Estate has opened an office in Dallas, TX, to focus on growing the firm’s debt and equity investment platforms in Texas and the Southwest.   

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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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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 »
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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Grand Prairie’s Lockheed Wins $212 Million Defense Contract Boost

Texas Business reports: A DFW-area firm won a $212.3 million contract increase for a foreign weapons contract, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

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Vacant Juvenile Facility Costing $100,000 Monthly

More than a year after lawmakers told the state juvenile justice agency to shutter a facility to save money, the aging Corsicana Residential Treatment Facility remains open at a cost of some $100,000 a month to taxpayers. There are no youths there, just 25 employees who are awaiting word from lawmakers looking for ways to salvage the decrepit institution that once housed mentally ill youth offenders. 

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Fort Worth’s Lockheed Wins $7.2 Million Thailand, Pakistan F-16 Contract Change

Texas Business reports:  FORT WORTH—A Fort Worth firm won a 7.2 million defense contract boost, according to the U.S. Department of  Defense. 

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McKinney’s Raytheon Wins $50 Million Contract Boost

Texas Business reports:  A McKinney firm won a $50 million military contract change, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. 

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Allen Retail Strip Sells

Texas Business reports:  Bethany Center, a 10,000-square-foot retail center located in Allen at the northwest corner of Bethany Blvd. and Hwy. 5, sold for an undisclosed amount.

It was sold through a partnership controlled by real estate developers Roger Gault of Gault Co. and Robert Gunby of RTG Capital LLC. 

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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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Lockheed Martin Wins $611 Million Contract for Production of First PAC-3 MSE Missiles

Texas Business reports:  DALLAS—Lockheed Martin won a $611 million contract from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command for the first production order of the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) following the Army's Milestone C decision earlier this year.

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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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Former Employee at Desoto’s Medistat Group Associates Sentenced for Role in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy

Texas Business reports: DALLAS — Jerry C. Bullard, 57, of Mesquite, Texas, was sentenced this afternoon, by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay, to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $317,779 in restitution, following his guilty plea in February 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  Bullard worked in the durable medical equipment department of Medistat Group Associates, Inc., an association of health care providers in Desoto, Texas. 

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Fort Worth’s Elbit Systems Wins $12.2 Million Helicopter Signal Contract

Texas Business reports: A Fort Worth firm won a $12.2 million defense contract, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. 

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