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Economy

Analysis: Budget writers prepare to say ‘no’ to requests

Directors of Mississippi government agencies should get accustomed to one word as the 2017 legislative session approaches. “No.” Based on early budget proposals released by Gov. Phil Bryant and legislative leaders, that word will be the answer to plenty of requests. Mississippi’s economy continues to grow slowly, and tax cuts are projected to reduce the money that state government collects ...

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Hattiesburg shines with massive new solar farms and jobs growth

By BECKY GILLETTE / Hattiesburg Business Today The greater Hattiesburg area is quickly becoming a solar hub of the state and region with two, $100-million solar farms covering 1,000 acres current under construction that are expected to come online producing 100 megawatts of electricity by the summer of 2017, said Chad E. Newell, president of the Area Development Partnership (ADP). » ...

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Dow hits another record as bank stocks continue to climb

U.S. stocks are rising Monday morning, led by gains in bank stocks, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to another record high. Other major indexes are also up but still below their own all-time highs. European stocks were mostly higher, but Italy’s market fell after Italian voters rejected constitutional changes, dealing a major setback to Premier Matteo Renzi. KEEPING SCORE: ...

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US employers add 178K jobs as unemployment sinks to 4.6 pct.

U.S. employers added a solid 178,000 jobs in November, reflecting the steady economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit. And the unemployment rate hit a nine-year low of 4.6 percent, though mainly because many people stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed. Average hourly pay slipped after a solid gain the previous month. Pay has increased at ...

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Mississippi jobless rate falls in October, payrolls fall

October sent mixed signals in Mississippi’s labor market, with unemployment improving but payrolls worsening. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent from 6 percent in September, and was below October 2015’s 6.5 percent. The number of workers and people reporting jobs rose strongly, and people unemployed fell below 75,000 for the first time since 2004. Mississippi had September’s fifth-highest ...

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Analysis: Mississippi tightens bond rules for long-term debt

Don’t take on long-term debt to cover day-to-day expenses. Don’t use credit to buy stuff that will wear out before it’s paid off. It’s advice many parents give their soon-to-be adult children. And, in a nutshell, it’s what the Mississippi Bond Commission says in rules it recently adopted. The rules were written partly in response to a $308 million bond ...

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Fitch puts stable outlook on state bond refinancing

Ratings agency leaves ‘negative’ outlook in place for other debt   By TED CARTER Successful refinancing of $226.5 million in general obligation bonds in the next few days could erase a $14 million debt-service deficit legislators failed to address in their last session. The refinancing would apply to general obligation bonds issued in previous years. The state’s hopes for a ...

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Cuba opportunities, pitfalls dominate MDA trade summit

By JACK WEATHERLY The Republic of Cuba was depicted as a land of opportunity for Mississippi businesses, though with a heightened sense of risk. About 150 people attended the “Doing Business in Cuba Summit” on Thursday at the South Warehouse in Jackson. Speakers at the Mississippi Development Authority event told of a country struggling to emerge from more than a half-century ...

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Study finds state’s revenue growth slowing

By BOBBY HARRISON Despite the fact that Gov. Phil Bryant and legislators have been struggling with declining tax revenue and budget cuts, Mississippi is one of 29 states where collections, when adjusted for inflation, have rebounded to new peaks since what is known as the Great Recession of 2008-09. A report by the Pew Charitable Trust, released earlier this month, ...

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Piccadillys in Jackson undergoing $1M upgrade

By JACK WEATHERLY  Piccadilly Cafeterias has gone through some hard times, and now as a more streamlined chain, it is re-invigorating its operations. It is investing $1 million in its two Jackson stores, for example, primarily the flagship property in Lefleur’s Gallery on the Interstate 55 North Frontage Road, along with the one in the Robinson Road Shopping Center in ...

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