April 9, 2010 in Business

In brief: Boeing delivers 108 planes in first quarter of 2010


Seattle – Boeing Co. says it delivered 108 commercial jets in the first quarter of 2010.

The number announced Thursday is down from 121 jets in first quarter 2009 and 122 for the fourth quarter of last year.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes spokesman Jim Proulx said that’s due to normal variation and customer needs. He also pointed out that Boeing stopped delivering 747s late last year, as it starts building the new and larger 747-8. The 747-8 is undergoing flight tests, with the first to be delivered to Cargolux late this year.

Chicago-based Boeing said it expects to deliver 460 to 465 commercial jets this year, compared with 481 in 2009.

Associated Press

Media forecaster upgrades 2010’s ad spending outlook

London – A leading advertising forecaster is raising its 2010 outlook on global ad spending – the most bullish reading it has had in more than a year – saying companies are gaining more confidence that the economic recovery will stick.

ZenithOptimedia expects combined ad spending in various media – including newspapers, television and billboards – to grow by 2.2 percent this year to $456 billion. That’s up from its previous forecast of slightly less than 1 percent, made in December.

It’s the second time the forecaster has upgraded its 2010 outlook. The upgrades followed 18 months of consecutive downgrades.

Ad spending is still expected to fall in the U.S., by 2 percent. North America, which covers the U.S. and Canada, is the only region expected to see a decline, by 1.5 percent, because it led the ad downturn and will be the last one to recover.

Associated Press

First-time unemployment claims increased last week

Washington – The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as the economy recovers.

The increase also may result from the difficulty the Labor Department has in seasonally adjusting the claims around the Easter holiday, which falls on different weeks each year.

The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims increased by 18,000 in the week ended April 3, to a seasonally adjusted 460,000. That’s worse than economists’ estimates of a drop to 435,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Initial claims have dropped four out of the past six weeks and many economists say they are likely to soon resume their decline.

“Not everything goes in a straight line,” Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a research note. “Definitely not the claims data.”

Associated Press

30-year rate rises to its highest level in 8 months

Washington – Rates for 30-year home loans surged last week, rising to the highest level in eight months due to the improving economy and the end of a government push to keep rates low.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 5.21 percent this week, up from 5.08 percent a week earlier, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That’s the highest since mid-August, when the average rate was 5.29 percent.

This week, the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.52 percent, up from 4.39 percent last week.

Associated Press

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