Rural areas in middle America are being hit particularly hard by what could be another dip into recession for the region, according to a survey of business leaders and supply managers in nine Midwest and Plains states released Tuesday.
The company will cut costs further than merely closing its Bismarck plant by consolidating its North Dakota manufacturing operations in Gwinner, where Melroe Manufacturing, Bobcat’s forerunner, was founded in 1947. The consolidation will be gradual and is expected to be completed by year’s end.
Bobcat Co.'s Bismarck plant workers were told Wednesday the Bismarck plant will close permanently by the end of the year, with about 390 of its 475 jobs transferred to the company’s plant in Gwinner, N.D. “There were a lot of chins hanging on the floor,” said employee Ron Vogel, who worked at the plant for 26 years.
Even in recession, N.D.'s economy stronger than region's, nation's, survey finds A survey of business leaders in nine Midwestern and Plains states suggests that despite some encouraging signs, the region is well short of economic recovery.
The U.S. economy, which was showing tentative early signs of a recovery, faces a potentially grave new threat: swine flu. A widespread outbreak could batter the tourism, food and transportation industries in particular, deepening the recession in the U.S. and possibly worldwide.
Farming communities that were largely insulated from the recession last year by high crop prices and other factors are now feeling the nation’s economic chill more acutely as corn, wheat and soybeans become cheaper, and land values fall.
Farmers across the Midwest and Plains states are increasingly cautious about spending on new equipment and land, and that is threatening businesses that until recently had been spared serious financial hardship.
By Josh Funk, The Assocaited Press
April 10, 2009
Retailers, who begrudgingly went along when food makers pushed up prices to recoup record-high costs, are flexing newfound muscle and demanding price cuts to match the recent steep retreat in ingredient costs.
Emily Fredrix and Sarah Skidmore
March 15, 2009
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