Economy & Innovation

News about the economy, business, and innovation happening in the St. Louis region.

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy announced today that it will keep its headquarters in downtown St. Louis for at least another 15 years.

Peabody is a Fortune 500 company employing more than 600 people in St. Louis.

The company had been offered a package of $10 million in Federal New Market tax credits to fund upgrades to their downtown high-rise.

Federal officials say Arch Coal will pay $4 million in fines and change some mining practices to settle alleged Clean Water Act violations in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.

The deal announced Tuesday is between St. Louis-based Arch, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.

Updated 2:12 p.m. Feb. 28, 2011 with quotes from Mock (via AP).

Two years after Chrysler shut down its dealership in Wentzville, Mo., Century Motor Corp. is back in business.

Twenty-five people work there - about 20 fewer than when the dealership closed in May 2009.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Brewing giant, Anheuser-Busch InBev, is looking to grow its market base in Europe after reports project higher savings than expected.

The producer of hoppy classics like Budweiser and Stella Artois is looking forward to some $.75 billion in savings, says Chief Executive Carlos Brito.

(via Flickr/ Giles Douglas)

More not-so-great economic news for the St. Louis region today.

The Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri released its data on the number of permits issued by the six counties (St. Louis, St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren and Franklin) and the city of St. Louis. They show that builders were looking to start construction on just 120 new single-family homes in January 2011. That's down more than 40 percent from January 2010, and is the lowest monthly total since November of 2008.

(via Flickr/Rob Lee)

The number of black-owned businesses in Missouri increased sharply, by 47 percent, from 2002 to 2007, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

Those numbers are according to data released this month from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners.

In a matter of weeks - if not days - the Pentagon will announce whether Chicago-based Boeing Co. or European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company will build 179 new tankers to replace the Air Force's Eisenhower-era KC-135 planes.

It's a $35 billion contract to build nearly 200 giant airborne refueling tankers. And the decade-long brawl by two defense industry titans to win it has been just as epic.

American Airlines is recalling 200 flight attendants who were furloughed from now-defunct TWA in 2003.

American said Friday it also agreed to hire 30 new Mandarin-speaking flight attendants to staff flights to and from Shanghai.

_J_D_R_ / Flickr

The costs of goods and services in the St. Louis region rose 2.5 percent between the last six months of 2009 and the last six months of 2010 - more than double the national rate over that same time.

Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics data show electricity prices going up 13.1 percent and motor fuel going up 10.1 percent, bureau economist Jacqueline Michael Midkiff says they weren't the real drivers of the increase.

If he doesn't re-sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, first baseman Albert Pujols could set off a bidding war to end all wars. Pujols reportedly wants to be baseball's first $300-million-man.

Check out Adam Allington's story for Marketplace Morning Report.

Canada, Mexico and China are the top customers for Missouri goods in an export market that jumped 36 percent in 2010, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

The data reflecting the jump is from the World Trade Center St. Louis.

Tim Nowak, executive director at the World Trade Center, says the growth was driven primarily by industrial products and manufactured goods.

An Illinois lawmaker is pushing to raise the state's minimum wage to more than $10 an hour - higher than anywhere else in the United States.

(via Flickr/boeingdreamscape)

American Airlines is recalling more former TWA flight attendants. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says American will rehire 365 of the furloughed employees.

The TWA flight attendants were put at the bottom of the seniority list when the airline was bought out by American. In 2001, American laid off 2,500 flight attendants, many of whom used to work for TWA.

(via Flickr/Artotem)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reporting that reserves of corn have hit their lowest level in over 15 years.

The high demand for corn could put upward pressure on food prices in 2011.

The USDA says demand for corn in the ethanol industry is up 50 million bushels after record-high production in December and January.

That has left the United States with the lowest surplus of corn since 1996.

(via Flickr/denharsh)

Representatives of AT&T Missouri are downplaying rumors that customers will defect to Verizon when that company starts selling the iPhone on Thursday.

Among other improvements AT&T says that it's invested over $1.7 billion in its St. Louis wireless network.

Nancy Garvey is Vice President and General Manager for AT&T mobility.

(via Flickr/Fergus Randall)

The Missouri Public Service Commission will take Laclede Gas Co. to court in a dispute over records of gas
purchases made by one of the utility's affiliates.

The commission's staff has been trying for three years to obtain information on gas transactions made by Laclede Energy Resources, a gas marketing company not regulated by the state.

Boeing announced today that they're moving into production at their new site in Mascoutah, Ill., the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

Want to add a little green to your weekend? Take a listen to Adam Allington's feature on house size and the impact of green technology on the housing economy. It aired on Marketplace Money today.

Also, be sure to listen for a local story on a similar topic airing Monday (Feb. 7) on St. Louis Public Radio.

Map of the location of the old Chrysler plants in Fenton. (via Google Maps)

Legislators from St. Louis County have filed bills aimed at bringing jobs back to the site of the old Chrysler plants in Fenton.

The bills filed today apply to new and existing businesses located within one mile of the old plants.

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m. Jan. 24, 2011

The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Smurfit-Stone will lose its dual headquarters of in Creve Coeur, Mo. and Chicago when it is acquired by RockTenn.

The new combined company will be based out of RockTenn’s headquarters in Norcross, Ga., the Business Journal reports.