2005-02

Article Title Issue

Carriers keep going by plying in traffic

It is Charlotte/Douglas International Airport’s biggest tenant, making up about 90% of its flights. The airline also is a major presence — and employer — at other airports around the state. Liquidation would mean losing thousands of Tar Heel jobs.
2005-02

Conditions put it together for builders

For two years, commercial builders leaned heavily on publicly funded projects to survive. But an improving economy stimulated a rebound in the private sector last year. “There’s just not much bad news out there,” says Tony Plath, a UNC Charlotte banking professor and consultant to the Carolinas Associated General Contractors.
2005-02

Crisis has not passed for medical providers

Bob Burgin, stepping down recently after nearly 24 years as CEO of Mission Hospitals and its forerunners in Asheville, sizes up the past year in health care in a word: tumultuous. It might sum up the coming one, too. Consider cost squeezes. Unpaid hospital bills at Mission jumped from about 2.5% of revenue to about 5%, a trend reflected at many hospitals, analysts say.
2005-02

Interest in new banks is running higher than usual

After the sale of Hendersonville-based MountainBank in September 2003, its chief financial officer, Greg Gibson, lost his job — but not his ambition. Eight months later, Mountain 1st Bank & Trust opened in Hendersonville with Gibson as CEO. It reached profitability in four months — a state record for banks.
2005-02

Look both ways

A famous forecaster and a top policy adviser discuss where the economy has been and where it’s going.
2005-02

Looking back to see ahead

Twenty years ago, Business North Carolina published its first Economic Almanac, an issue of the magazine devoted to examining changes that affected the state economy during the past year while trying to forecast those it would face in the future. Over the years, we accomplished that by breaking the state apart and examining the pieces.
2005-02

Money proves to be real pill for industry

Executives at life-sciences companies in North Carolina have at least one thing to be thankful for: Their industry’s popularity with venture capitalists isn’t fading as fast as it has for some others. Through three quarters of 2004, they had grabbed 29% of the venture capital received by North Carolina companies, compared with 14.4% during the first nine months of 2000.
2005-02

Practices make perfect targets for regulators

Things were going great in the insurance industry in 2004. Life and annuity companies were boasting about better bottom lines, thanks to strong annuity sales and rising interest rates that boosted investment income. Health insurers continued to enjoy hefty profits but not as big as in 2003, when they sparked complaints from consumer advocates and regulators.
2005-02

Recovery lets shoppers lap up some luxury items

Shop until you drop. It’s the American way, says James F. Smith, professor of finance at UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. “When income goes up, spending goes up.”
2005-02

Scant money and lost jobs do not compute

Five years ago, North Carolina enjoyed a reputation for creating electronics and information-technology jobs. It had about 166,000 in 2001. But it has lost about 30,000 since. Nearly half the state’s IT companies have closed their doors or moved out of state, according to the North Carolina Electronics and Information Technology Association.
2005-02

School rule will make late summer less of a bummer

Anybody who says it’s easy to be a kid these days isn’t paying attention. Sure, kids a century ago were more likely to spend summers working on family farms tending crops and animals — often under a blazing sun. But kids in the 21st century have a summertime duty to the economy, too.
2005-02

Service station

It might seem a cinch to land a job in North Carolina. The unemployment rate was 4.8% in October, nearly a percentage point below the U.S. average and 1.6 lower than a year earlier. But while the state’s unemployment rolls held 71,500 fewer names, its labor force shrank by 89,000 and 17,500 jobs vanished.
2005-02

Some small farmers will take their leave

If you want to see a small tobacco farm, you’d better take a picture. After what happened in 2004, it might not be long before they exist only in photographs and memories.
2005-02

State can't manufacture the kinds of jobs it loses

Here’s the good news for the state’s manufacturing sector: During the first nine months of 2004, it lost about 6,800 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s compared with the 30,000 that disappeared during the same period in 2003.
2005-02

Utility players go back to what they're best at

The companies that own the two largest utilities in the state spent much of 2003 and 2004 peeling away superfluous layers, hoping to showcase the still-serviceable assets beneath and make money to pay down debt.
2005-02