SC business notebook, May 3

May 2, 2013 

Bottled water, filters producer plans 50-job plant

Aqua City Inc., a producer of water filtration products and bottled water, said Thursday it will spend $1.5 million to open a new production facility in Marion County, creating 50 jobs, according to the S.C. Department of Commerce. The company will produce 500 milliliter and 1 liter bottles of water, provide delivery of 5-gallon bottles to homes and businesses and offer private labeling for businesses. The company also will relocate its production of water purification products to the Mullins facility. Hiring will begin in July.

Nation & World

Americans abandoning texts for cheaper Internet options

Americans are saying CUL8TR to text messaging, a wireless industry group says, as Internet-based applications such as Apple’s Messages are taking over from what was once a cash cow for phone companies. CTIA – The Wireless Association says Americans sent 2.2 trillion text messages last year, down 5 percent from 2011. That’s still 19 text messages per person per day. Text messages vaulted into the mainstream in 2007, despite often costing 10 cents each. Costs came down quickly as phone companies started selling monthly “bundles” of texts. Now, many phone companies give text messaging away for free as part of a plan that mainly meters the amount of data used.

15-year fixed mortgage fell to new record low last week

The average U.S. rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to a new record low last week, and the rate on the 30-year fixed loan declined. Cheaper mortgages have encouraged more home-buying and refinancing. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 2.56 percent. That’s the lowest on records dating to 1991. It fell from 2.61 percent last week, the previous record. The rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.35 percent from 3.40 percent last week. That’s near the average rate of 3.31 percent reached in November, the lowest on records dating back to 1971.

Buffett attracts 191,000 followers on Twitter with first tweet

Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, topped at least 191,000 followers on Twitter on Thursday after sending his first message on the social media site: “Warren is in the house.” He sent the message around lunchtime during an event on women in leadership sponsored by Fortune magazine at the University of Nebraska Omaha. An hour later, he had more than 59,000 followers. Buffett will host Berkshire’s shareholders on Saturday at the company’s annual meeting in Omaha. The billionaire, whose Twitter handle is WarrenBuffett, joins celebrities from pop singer Justin Bieber to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on the site.

The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed.

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