New housing up 12.8 percent

Nearly two out of every three new homes built in Idaho over the last five years were in Kootenai, Ada or Canyon counties.

The three counties – Idaho’s most populous – accounted for 43,288 of the nearly 68,000 new housing units built in the state during that period.

Statewide, the number of housing units grew by 12.8 percent over a five-year span ending in July 2005. The rapid growth kept pace with Idaho’s population boom.

The resulting construction jobs played a major role in Idaho’s job growth. Statewide, the ranks of construction workers jumped by 42 percent, with more than 55,000 people working in the industry. And over the past year, the construction industry accounted for one of every three new jobs created in Idaho.

“Construction has been a major contributor to Idaho’s prosperity, adding not just bricks and mortar but fueling consumer spending on additional services and durable goods like furniture and appliances,” said Roger Madsen, Idaho Commerce & Labor director.


Mutual fund scheme costs Prudential

Prudential Financial Inc. and a subsidiary have agreed to pay $600 million in penalties to resolve government allegations of deceptive market timing in the trading of mutual funds, the Justice Department announced Monday.

The subsidiary, Prudential Equity Group., LLC, admitted to criminal wrongdoing in the scheme dating back to 1999, the department said.

The settlement is one of the largest resulting from a broad probe of market timing that has rocked the fund industry for the past three years. In 2004, Bank of America Corp. agreed to a $675 million deal.


Air Sahara orders 10 Boeing jets

India’s Air Sahara has ordered 10 Boeing jets, a company official said Monday, as the U.S. aircraft maker nearly doubled its forecast for India’s airplane demand amid brisk economic growth and a boom in air travel.

The deal with Air Sahara for the Boeing 737-800 jets is valued at $700 million at list price, said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Co.’s senior vice president of sales for South Asia and Southeast Asia. Airlines frequently receive discounts for large purchases. Delivery of the planes will start in mid-2009, Keskar said.

In 2005, Boeing won orders valued $15 billion at list price from Indian carriers, including an order for 68 airplanes worth $11.4 billion from state-run Air India.


Bankruptcy filings drop sharply

Bankruptcy filings fell about 67 percent in the third quarter and more than 9 percent in the last year, according to data released Monday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

There were 155,833 total bankruptcy filings in the third quarter, compared with 467,333 in the year-ago period. During the 12-month period that ended June 30, there were about 1.5 million bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts compared with more than 1.6 million in the year-ago period.

It was the smallest number of filings since the 12-month period ended September 2001, according to the federal court data.

Industry insiders said the drop was tied to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which went into effect in mid-October and made filings more difficult and expensive.

– Compiled from staff and wire reports


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