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Business news in brief

In the Region

Phila. recovery slows

The City of Philadelphia's economic recovery slowed in November as monthly general fund tax revenues fell almost 10 percent over last year, according to a monthly economic report released by City Controller Alan Butkovitz. November's tax collections totaled $142 million compared with $157.5 million in November 2012. It was the first month in fiscal 2014 where tax collections lagged last year's. November monthly home sales decreased by 11 percent over the same month last year, according to the report. Home sales totals for November 2013 were 795 and for 2012 were 897. It was the only month in the last 12 that had a decrease from the same month of the prior year. - Inquirer staff

Mixed building-permit report

The number of residential building permits issued in November 2013 increased 4 percent over October in Delaware but fell 9 percent in Pennsylvania and 13 percent in New Jersey, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Total permits issued fell 21 percent for the nation overall. Permits issued for single-family units rose in Delaware, were flat in Pennsylvania, and fell in New Jersey and the nation. Multifamily permit issuance decreased in all three states and the nation. Taking a seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average, permit issuance rose in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the nation, but fell in New Jersey. Year-to-date total permits for November 2013 were greater than they were in November 2012: 17 percent higher in Pennsylvania, 21 percent in Delaware, and 36 percent in New Jersey. The growth rates of permit values range similarly from 19 percent higher in Pennsylvania to 36 percent higher in New Jersey. - Inquirer staff


Bond sales down

Corporate bond sales slipped from a record pace in 2013 as the slowest year in Europe since 2002 offset unprecedented U.S. issuance stoked by borrowers seeking to get ahead of the Federal Reserve's stimulus cuts. Sales of $3.78 trillion in 2013 fell 5.5 percent from last year's $4 trillion, an all-time high, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. European debt offerings plummeted 6 percent to 786.2 billion euros ($1.1 trillion), with financial institutions curbing issuance as they bolstered their capital while sales by U.S. issuers from Verizon Communications Inc. to Apple Inc. reached an all-time high of $1.52 trillion. Banks in Europe with access to cheap funds from the European Central Bank began paring businesses to meet new Basel III capital rules. - Bloomberg News