Texas official leads trade trip to China

TEXAS ECONOMY

Texas official leads trade trip to China

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos was in China this week, leading a group of Texans at the 2017 World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment in Shanghai to promote opportunities in the state for foreign investors.

“China is a growing partner in elevating the Lone Star State’s continued economic prosperity,” Pablos said in the wake of the trip.

Texas exported $10.8 billion in goods to China in 2016, including $1.7 billion in oil and gas, according to Pablos’ office. Since 2003, 27 Chinese projects have invested $1.6 billion in Texas, his office said.

The aim of the trip, which included public and private sector Texas leaders, was to strengthen commercial ties between Texas and China.

ECONOMY

U.S. durable goods orders slip in April

WASHINGTON — U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods dropped in April for the first time in five months, and a key category that tracks business investment went nowhere for the second straight month.

The Commerce Department said Friday that durable goods orders fell 0.7 percent in April after rising 2.3 percent in March. The April downturn was the first since durable goods orders fell 4.6 percent in November.

Despite the April drop, American manufacturing has bounced back in recent months from a slump early last year.

Orders for transportation equipment fell 1.2 percent last month, pulled down by a 9.2 percent drop in the volatile commercial aircraft category. Orders for military aircraft jumped 7.1 percent. But orders for cars, trucks and auto parts rose 0.3 percent last month after falling in February and March.

Orders for capital goods, excluding aircraft and military equipment, were flat for the second straight month — potentially worrisome because that category offers clues about where business investment is headed.

Durable goods, ranging from refrigerators to battleships, are items meant to last at least three years.

AUTOMAKES

BMW recalls 7-Series cars due to door concern

DETROIT — BMW is recalling more than 45,000 older 7-Series cars in the U.S. because the doors can open unexpectedly while the cars are being driven.

The recall covers certain 745i, 745Li, 750i, 750Li, 760i, 760Li and B7 Alpina cars from the 2005 through 2008 model years that have the comfort access and soft door close options.

BMW says the doors may appear to be closed and latched but can inadvertently open due to road conditions or occupant contact with the door. A sudden opening could cause someone to be ejected or increase the risk of injury in a crash.

The company says in documents posted by the government that the latches can malfunction over time. The company said Friday that it isn’t aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem.

The recall came after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked BMW about owner complaints about doors opening unexpectedly. The agency asked if a 2012 recall of about 7,500 7-Series cars from the 2005 to 2007 model years should be expanded and if the remedy was adequate.

BMW investigated and agreed to another recall, but it’s still trying to find the cause and develop a fix. Owners with questions can contact BMW at (800) 525-7417.

OIL & GAS

U.S. rig count rises by 7 this week to 908

HOUSTON — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by seven this week to 908.

A year ago, 404 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes said Friday that 722 rigs sought oil and 185 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.

Colorado added five rigs while Alaska, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oklahoma each gained one.

Texas lost one rig.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were all unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out last May at 404.

 

This article was originally published at: http://www.mystatesman.com/business/business-digest-texas-official-leads-trade-trip-china/XUuA80IBfa0SGpvOnpubGO/

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