SC business notebook, June 15

Buying or redoing home? Workshop offers ideas

The “OMG of Homeownership Workshop” is set for 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 22 at Midlands Technical College’s Northeast campus, 151 Powell Road, Columbia. The class, sponsored by the city of Columbia, is designed to provide first-time homebuyers with information on purchasing homes and current homeowners with ideas on improving the look of their homes, yards and gardens. A $500 grand prize gift card for home improvements will be awarded by sponsors South Carolina Bank and Trust and The Home Depot. The free event also will include food and other door prizes. Participants must register at Info: Call Jeff Rainwater at (803) 545-3373.

IMF report sees slow growth

The International Monetary Fund say the U.S. economy is on sounder footing than it was a year ago but is still being restrained by government spending cuts and tax increases. The IMF’s annual report on the U.S. economy released Friday noted that the underlying fundamentals are gradually improving: Home prices and construction are rising, household finances have strengthened and employers are steadily adding jobs. The outlook was much more optimistic than IMF’s 2012 report. Still, the IMF forecasts growth of just 1.9 percent this year. That would be down from 2.2 percent in 2012. And it’s below many private economists’ expectations of more than 2 percent growth this year. The IMF says the tax increases and spending cuts that kicked in this year will shave about 1.5 percentage points from growth.

Stocks slip amid glum market reports

Stocks are ending a choppy week lower after disappointing reports on the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 105 points, or 0.7 percent, to 15,070 Friday. The Dow fell 1.2 percent this week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gave up nine points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,626. Banks and energy stocks fell the most. The only industry group that rose was utilities. The Nasdaq composite fell 21 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,423. The market got no help from the latest news on the economy. Factories weren’t as busy as expected, and a survey showed that consumer sentiment fell in June compared with the previous month.

Boeing’s wide-body rival takes flight

The Airbus A350’s maiden flight ended with a safe landing on Friday, setting the stage for intensifying competition with U.S. rival Boeing in the long-haul wide-body aircraft market. The four-hour flight from Toulouse marks a key step on the path to full certification for the jet, which can carry 250 to 400 passengers and is the European aircraft maker’s best hope for catching up in a long-haul market dominated by Boeing’s 787 and 777. Airbus has 613 orders for the A350. It hopes Friday’s flight brings momentum heading into next week’s Paris Air Show, which is already shaping up as a battle of the wide-body planes.

The Associated Press contributed.