Union Battle Likely at Coming New Volvo Plant; Disappointing US GDP Growth Ceiling? Amazon Root Picking Contest; Questioning Value of Ever Larger Container Ships That’s how many jobs will ultimately be created at a planned new Volvo car factory in South Carolina, in which the now Chinese-owned firm will invest some $500 million dollars in building its first North American factory. What makes it even bigger news is South Carolina governor Nikki Haley telling the United Auto Workers union its presence isn’t wanted at the new plant, citing a recent failure of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to unionize a relatively new Boeing factory in the state. Haley’s opinion was of course rejected strongly by UAW leaders, setting up a likely battle royal at the new plant similar when it opens in 2018 to the high stakes drama that saw unionization voted down at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee early last year. That may be the disappointing long term growth rate ceiling in the US, according to Bank of the West chief economist Scott Anderson, after a second estimate of Q1 2015 real US GDP came in at a very disappointing -0.7% annual rate, down from the initial estimate of just +0.2%. That likely dooms full year 2015 real GDP to something not much more than 2% again at best for all of 2015, just as a poor Q1 did for last year’s full year measure, as the current multi-year recovery in the US continues to be below historical norms. We’ll note some economists think there may be some issues with the Commerce Dept. GDP model, which have been showing low growth in Q1s for several years, perhaps from not handling seasonality right. That was the number of items ranging from a rubber ducky to pencils […]
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