October 20, 2010 in Business

Briefcase

 

Northwest cities underperforming

The economic vitality of Northwest cities has tumbled in the past year, according to new rankings by the Milken Institute.

The exception in the 2010 index of Best-Performing Cities was the Tri-Cities, which climbed to fifth among the 200 rated by job, income and output growth, with an emphasis on high-tech employment.

Spokane fell to 74th from 41st in the 2009 rankings. Among 179 small cities, Coeur d’Alene sank to 93rd from 15th in 2009. Two years ago, the Kootenai County city peaked at No. 2.

Texas cities ruled the Milken chart, with five among the top 10. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood topped the list. Detroit was at the bottom.

Other Northwest cites: Seattle, down from 17th to 37th; Portland, down to 107th from 37th; and Boise, down to 154th from 114th.

Lewiston, unranked previously, was 139th among small cities. Fargo, N.D., was No.1.

Bert Caldwell

Home construction up, but market still weak

Home construction rose 0.3 percent last month on the strength of single-family homes, but the market was still too relatively weak.

While housing starts are up 28 percent from their bottom in April 2009, they are still about 40 percent below a level that analysts consider indicative of a healthy housing market.

Construction was driven by a 4.4 percent monthly increase in single-family homes.

Associated Press

Earnings roundup

Bank of America Corp. said Tuesday it lost $7.65 billion during the third quarter due to a charge related to credit and debit card reform legislation passed over the summer.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s income fell to $1.74 billion, or $2.98 per share. It earned $3.03 billion, or $5.25 per share, during the same three-month period last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted earnings of $2.32 per share. Revenue fell 28 percent but still came in ahead of the $7.92 billion analysts had forecast.

Yahoo Inc. shuffled through another quarter of sluggish growth. Yahoo earned $396 million, or 29 cents per share, in the three months ending in June. That was more than double last year’s result, but a big chunk of the gain came from Yahoo’s sale of its help-wanted site, HotJobs. Revenue edged up 2 percent to $1.6 billion from last year. That compared with a 23 percent increase at Google Inc.

Johnson & Johnson reported a 2 percent increase in profit for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, but that was due to a $196 million jump in other income from divestitures and a lower tax bill. Third-quarter net income edged up to $3.42 billion, or $1.23 per share, beating analysts’ expectations of $1.15 per share. A year earlier, net income was $3.35 billion, or $1.20 per share.


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