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AGRICULTURE: Farmers optimistic for growing season

AGRICULTURE: Farmers optimistic for growing season

Local farmers are starting their planting operations with optimism for the growing season.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

CONSTRUCTION: Backlog develops as market's strength grows

CONSTRUCTION: Backlog develops as market's strength grows

Broad strength in the construction market is keeping local trades workers employed and leading to a backlog of work for contractors in some areas.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

EDUCATION: Falling funding hits higher ed, students

EDUCATION: Falling funding hits higher ed, students

The first quarter in local higher education took a hit from Mother Nature.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

REAL ESTATE: Market will heat up with the weather

REAL ESTATE: Market will heat up with the weather

The worst winter in memory held home sales back, but all signs are the warming weather will bring stronger home sales as the year goes on.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

THE TIMES BOARD OF ECONOMISTS: Health care law leaves unanswered questions

One of the main components of the Affordable Care Act took effect Jan. 1, requiring Americans to have some form of health coverage.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

THE TIMES BOARD OF ECONOMISTS: Business leaders give Congressman regulatory earful

THE TIMES BOARD OF ECONOMISTS: Business leaders give Congressman regulatory earful

With U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky in the room, members of the Times Board of Economists were not shy in talking about government regulations they have to deal with on a daily basis.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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AUTOMOTIVE: Auto sales up despite recalls

AUTOMOTIVE: Auto sales up despite recalls

Heavy snowfall and bone-chilling cold hampered auto sales in January and February, but sales are still strong, said Tim Roper, owner of Smith Motors Auto Group, which operates Chevrolet dealerships in Hammond and Lowell.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

BANKING: Interest rates remain low, but are bound to rise

BANKING: Interest rates remain low, but are bound to rise

Interest rates remain low, making it an ideal time for businesses to borrow money to expand or acquire other companies, said Horizon Bank executive vice president David Rose.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

CASINOS: Gaming facing up to competition

CASINOS: Gaming facing up to competition

With one of the harshest winters in recent memory behind them, Northwest Indiana casino operators are looking to up their game while keeping an eye on developments in Illinois.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

COMMERCE: Manufacturers, national retailers eye Porter County

COMMERCE: Manufacturers, national retailers eye Porter County

With renewed interest in national retailers and a recent groundbreaking for a manufacturing facility, commerce in Porter County is looking up, said Rex Richards, executive director of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. 

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

CONSUMERS: Healthy outlook for consumer spending

CONSUMERS: Healthy outlook for consumer spending

Consumer spending is healthy and should remain so for the rest of the year, said Connie Kann, area director of the Better Business Bureau.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

ENTERTAINMENT: Winter weather benefits entertainment

ENTERTAINMENT: Winter weather benefits entertainment

Winter weather did not stop people from seeking entertainment locally. If anything, it was an escape for those holed up in their home for days, said Charlie Blum, president and CEO of Star Plaza in Merrillville.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

GOVERNMENT: Property tax relief is here in Lake County

GOVERNMENT: Property tax relief is here in Lake County

Lake County taxpayers are now experiencing the gain that helps make up for the pain caused by county's recently instituted income tax.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

FUEL: Gas business steady, but all eyes on Ukraine

FUEL: Gas business steady, but all eyes on Ukraine

The fuel business is holding steady after rebounding from a slow start.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

HEALTH CARE: Decreased inpatients, high fees challenge health care

HEALTH CARE: Decreased inpatients, high fees challenge health care

The continuing pattern of decreased hospital inpatient admissions, along with increased fees under a hospital assessment fee program, paint a bleak picture for the hospital industry in 2014, said Gene Diamond, Franciscan Alliance Northern Ind…

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

INVESTMENTS: Markets holding up well, expected to grow

INVESTMENTS: Markets holding up well, expected to grow

The stock market had an incredible year last year and started 2014 with a bang, said Mark Ennes, a wealth management adviser for the Merrill Lynch's Merrillville office.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

GROCERY: Industry doing well in spite of increased competition

GROCERY: Industry doing well in spite of increased competition

The grocery industry is prospering, even though the greater Chicago market is crowded with competition, Strack & Van Til president Dave Wilkinson said. 

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

MANUFACTURING: Shipments rising despite weather, logistical challenges

MANUFACTURING: Shipments rising despite weather, logistical challenges

A Hammond service center, which is one of the largest distributors of tin mill and coated steel products, is starting to see 5 to 6 percent increases in sales. 

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

SMALL RETAIL: Sales get a spring in their step

SMALL RETAIL: Sales get a spring in their step

Pent up demand is resulting in increased sales for retailers, as the public thaws out from a long winter by opening purses and wallets.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

RETAIL: After sluggish start, business picks up

RETAIL: After sluggish start, business picks up

With Region residents snowed in for part of the start of 2014, retail struggled.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

TRANSPORTATION: Chicago events again drawing South Shore riders

People are returning to Chicago events and using the South Shore to get there, in a hopeful sign that ridership declines may finally reverse this year on the commuter railroad.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

STEEL: Automotive sales, construction key for steel industry

STEEL: Automotive sales, construction key for steel industry

Demand for steel was relatively flat in the United States in 2013, but AcrelorMittal is expecting a 4 percent increase in demand and shipments this year.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

RESTAURANTS: Beef, wages, Obamacare challenge industry

RESTAURANTS: Beef, wages, Obamacare challenge industry

Soaring beef prices are the latest challenge to confront the restaurant industry, which is facing market and political forces unlike any in recent memory.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

MEDIA: Consumers thaw out, start to spend

MEDIA: Consumers thaw out, start to spend

With one of the harshest winters in recent memory now past, local media is heating up.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

UTILITIES: Cold winter leads to price swings

UTILITIES: Cold winter leads to price swings

The severe winter weather kept energy suppliers in the United States busy but disruptions to customers appear to have been kept to a minimum.

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

Optimism blooming among Board of Economist members

Optimism blooming among Board of Economist members

The refrain has been familiar almost every time The Times Board of Economists has met over the past few years: The economy is improving but slowly, more slowly than anyone would like.

May 03, 2014 5:30 pm Photos

Photos

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