Driving the Day: 10/24/12

Oct 24, 2012

Need to know…

  • Hiring On Hold Before Elections. Small business owners are restricting hiring before the presidential election, reports Adecco. More than 75% of business owners surveyed said hiring new staff is on the back burner. More than half have temporarily capped technology upgrades and are putting off infrastructure investments. Some 56% of respondents said healthcare benefit costs are a challenge for businesses, and 35% said they are not hiring specifically because of coming costs from the President’s healthcare reform law.
  • U.S. No Longer #1 in Foreign Investment. The United States has been the top destination for foreign investment since 2003, but the UN Conference on Trade and Development recently reported China has now taken the lead. Foreign investment in China climbed to more than $59 billion during the first half of 2012; during the same time period, the United States saw $57.4 billion in foreign investment. New data also shows that for the first time, foreign investment in developing economies matches that in developed economies.
  • Chinese Recovery Offers Positive Sign for Business. New data from the HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) shows progress in China's recovery from a recent economic slowdown. China reached 49.1 points on the PMI Index in October, the highest in three months though still short of expanding business activity. Chinese industrial output has a big impact on global economic trends. The PMI Index increase shows strengthening global demand, which is a positive indicator for U.S. businesses operating in the challenging domestic and international economies.

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