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AGMA NewsBrief
Jan. 6, 2009
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U.S. Manufacturing Lowest Since 1980
from The Washington Post
U.S. manufacturing activity decreased in December at its fastest pace in nearly 30 years, as businesses cut production and slashed product orders in response to the global recession, according to a closely watched survey. The Institute for Supply Management's index of industrial production slipped from 36.2 percent in November to 32.4 percent in December, the lowest level since June 1980. A reading above 50 indicates that manufacturing activity is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates a contraction. More

ALD Holcroft

Goodrich and Rolls-Royce Complete Engine Controls Joint Venture
from PR-USA
Goodrich Corp. and Rolls-Royce Group plc recently announced that they have completed the formation of a joint venture company to develop and supply engine controls for Rolls-Royce aero engines. The transaction closed on Dec. 31, 2008. The joint venture company, Rolls-Royce Goodrich Engine Control Systems Ltd., operates as Aero Engine Controls. Each of the contributing companies owns 50 percent of Aero Engine Controls. Goodrich will retain the aftermarket products and services business associated with the joint venture's products. More

Northstar Aerospace Announces Amended Credit Agreement
from Trading Markets via Comtex
Northstar Aerospace, a manufacturer of flight critical gears and transmissions, has announced that it has signed an amendment to its existing credit agreement. The amendment includes a waiver of the financial covenant violation at Sept. 30, 2008. Certain covenants at Dec. 31, 2008 have also been reset. Under the amended agreement the leverage ratio of debt to earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, as defined by the credit agreement, has been increased. More

GM Hopes to Push Sales with Zero Percent Financing
from The Associated Press via
General Motors Corp. said Tuesday it will offer financing as low as zero percent over the next week for several 2008 and 2009 models as the automaker makes a big year-end sales push. The news comes after its financing arm, GMAC Financial Services LLC, agreed to take a $5 billion bailout package from the Treasury Department. Mark LaNeve, GM's vice president for GM North America vehicle sales, service and marketing, said GMAC's approval to become a bank holding company and subsequently qualify for the Treasury funding were crucial steps to affording the new financing offers. More

Officials Hope for Steel Bailout
from The Chicago Post-Tribune
With hundreds of steelworkers laid off across North America, the industry faces an uncertain future and is looking for solutions. Steel officials are encouraging President-elect Barack Obama to focus much of multibillion-dollar economic stimulus package on new infrastructure projects. It's a plan local union officials also support. More

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Copa Airlines Orders More from Boeing
from Street Insider
Copa Airlines, subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S.A., and The Boeing Co. recently announced Copa's firm order for four Boeing 737-800 Next-Generation aircraft for delivery within the next three years. Copa now has increased its orders for Boeing 737 aircraft from nine to 13, with options for future orders. More

Global Corporate Profits to Drop in 2009; More Bankruptcies Loom
from Bloomberg
Corporate earnings will continue to slump into the first half of 2009 amid the first simultaneous recessions in the U.S., Japan and Europe since World War II. Earnings at Standard & Poorís 500 companies will probably fall in the first half, marking eight straight quarters of declines. In Europe and Asia, the outlook may be even worse as the recession curbs demand for retail goods and exports. "Itís going to be a miserable ride," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Cleveland-based Key Private Bank, which manages about $30 billion. Earnings probably wonít rebound until the end of 2009, he said. "The market recovers, then the economy recovers, then finally the earnings recover." More

2009 Could be Better than You Think
from The Wall Street Journal
2008 wasn't just a bad year. It was an awful year. A Johnstown Flood kind of year. The kind that wipes out proud, century-old institutions, decimates entire industries, and leaves everyone decidedly poorer and the world profoundly shaken in its wake. Enough of that. On to 2009. There is no crystal ball. But a sense of history, some basic economics, common sense and just a dash of congenital optimism seem to indicate that this one won't be all bad. More

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