Auto supplier to expand in Chesterfield County
Schaeffler Group USA, an automotive and industrial component supplier, said Thursday that it will expand its existing operations in Chesterfield County, investing $40 million and creating 190 jobs. The company has been manufacturing bearings for more than 40 years in Cheraw and has two plants in Chesterfield County, according to the S.C. Department of Commerce. Both facilities will be expanded to produce bearings and engine components for new automotive applications. The expansions will be completed by 2013. This is the second major expansion of the facilities in two years. Commerce officials and Gov. Nikki Haley met with the Schaeffler Group in Germany last year.
Economy grew 2.7 percent in 3rd quarter
WASHINGTON The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate from July through September, much faster than first thought. The strength is expected to fade in the final months of the year because of uncertainty about looming tax increases and government spending cuts. The Commerce Department said Thursday that growth in the third quarter was significantly better than the 2 percent rate estimated a month ago. And it was more than twice the 1.3 percent rate reported for the April-June quarter. The main reason for the upward revision to the gross domestic product was businesses restocked at a faster pace than previously estimated. That offset weaker consumer spending growth. GDP measures the nation’s total output of goods and services. Most economists say economic growth is slowing to below 2 percent in the current quarter – considered too weak to rapidly lower the unemployment rate.
Number of jobless benefits applications drops
WASHINGTON The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 393,000 last week. It was the second straight drop after Superstorm Sandy had driven applications much higher earlier this month. A Labor Department analyst said the storm had little effect on the data. Applications spiked to 451,000 three weeks ago after Sandy battered the East Coast, closing businesses in the Northeast and cutting off power to 8 million homes in 10 states.
Duke Energy CEO will resign by 2014 as part of settlement
RALEIGH Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers will step down as head of the largest U.S. electric utility by the end of 2013 as part of a settlement with the North Carolina utilities regulator that ends an investigation into the company’s takeover of in-state rival Progress Energy. The North Carolina Utilities Commission and Duke Energy said Thursday the deal concludes the regulator’s probe into whether the company misled the commission ahead of the merger approval. Hours after the merger was completed July 2, Duke Energy’s board ousted Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, who was supposed to take over the combined company. It had promised to keep him in place throughout the 18-month process of merging the companies. The deal created the nation’s largest electric company, with more than 700,000 customers in South Carolina.
The Associated Press contributed.