• How are Face-to-Face Events Helping Local Economics?

    Aug 17, 2012

    By Brent Clanton, Business Editor 

    Prosperity and Global Economy 
    Twice as many business executives around the world say the global economy will prosper better with President Barack Obama than with Mitt Romney, according to a Financial Times poll released Friday. President Obama was chosen by 42.7% percent, compared with 20.5% for Romney; the rest said “neither.” The result was different among respondents in the United States, where a slim majority thought Romney would be better for their businesses than Obama. The FT poll was conducted before Romney picked Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. 

    Taxes In Texas 
    Texan’s taxes would go up over $2,900 on average if current tax rates are allowed to expire at the end of 2012, according to a new analysis by the Tax Foundation. Economists estimate that if Congress does not reach agreement on deficit-reduction items, it will siphon between $400 $720-billion from growth–as much as 4.6% of total gross domestic product. CNBC notes, with GDP growth below 2%, and the stock market gaining but susceptible to shocks, the stakes are high for the cuts. 

    Gas Prices 
    You will pay a little more at the pump to fill-up the family Conestoga for the weekend. Around the the state of Texas, retail gas prices are up an average of four cents, at $3.53 per gallon and according to Doug Shupe at AAA Texas, prices in Houston are among the highest in the state. “What we’re seeing is the drivers in Austin, Dallas, and Houston are paying the most, on average, at $3.54, while while motorists in El Paso are paying the least at $3.28,” says Shupe. Even with our higher prices, we are still well below the national average of $3.71. 

    The North American Prospect Expo
    The North American Prospect Expo rolls into the George R. Brown Convention Center next Wednesday. The expo is the world’s largest oil and gas expo, and the latest in a parade of professional exhibitions thanks to Houston’s reputation for getting things done. Steven Hacker, President, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, says, “The core-purpose of an exhibition is to create an environment that is conducive for buyers and sellers to come, as we say in Texas, “belly to belly.” Hacker, says Houston’s economic diversity is a key factor, as well as our well-placed venues downtown: “You don’t have to leave a big carbon footprint; it’s very efficient, and highly-attractive.” Last year Houston hosted 230 conventions, events and expos, drawing over 545,000 attendees from out of town, and generated over $531-million in economic impact.

    The Commerce Department 
    The Commerce Department says new home construction fell slightly in July, down one point one percent from June. But applications for permits to build new houses rose to their highest level since August 2008. Senior US Economist with Deutsche Bank, Carl Riccadonna, says this is one important component of the overall improving housing market: “If we look at the data year over year terms we’re up 30% from a year ago level, I think that’s pretty strong evidence that the home building sector is finally turning the corner,” says Riccadonna.

    On Friday’s economic calendar, the leading economic indicators for July is due from the Conference Board. Analysts look for a rise of two-tenths percent and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading is due.

    Facebook stock plunged to its lowest level yet, closing below $20 a share at $19.87, following the end of the first lock-up period when company insiders could start selling-off their shares. Tech-stock expert Michael Pachter says, “For people who are nervous about Facebook stock, the right time to step in is after the big lock-up, [in] 90 days…” Only 271-million shares became eligible Thursday…In November, 1.19-billion shares could be sold. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his fortune fall $600-million after shares of the company dropped 6% since Thursday.

    Groupon’s stock hit another low, days after issuing a lackluster quarterly report, falling 6%, to close at $5/share. The stock’s IPO price was $20, so it has lost 75% of its value. Here’s a clue: The number of active Groupon customers grew just three percent from the first quarter and the average spending per customer over the past 12 months- $165, down from $179 in the first quarter.

    Macy’s & J.C. Penney 
    There seems to be a quarrel between retailers Macy’s and J.C. Penny.The difference of opinion stems over plans to sell Martha Stewart Living products. Macy’s says it’s a breach of an exclusive contract with the decorating maven, with options to exclusively sell Martha Stewart goods through 2018. That fight is in court.

    Nissan Vehicles Investigated 
    Safety regulators are investigating 100,000 of Nissan’s 2012 Versa sub-compact cars because an air bag may fail to inflate in crashes. Such investigations can lead to recalls, but the Versa has not been recalled so far.


    Original Source: KROI FM Houston