Horticulturists, medical scientists, environmentalists, liver specialists, urologists, audiologists, speech therapists, physicians and technology, energy, finance and water experts will be among some 60,000 delegates who will visit Brisbane this year to attend conferences collaborating with colleagues and sharing their knowledge and expertise. This event provides a unique opportunity to showcase to the world the Centre’s expertise in hosting major international events and Brisbane’s standing as a leading international business destination. Australian & New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine (ASM) Conference 2015, 500 delegates International Society of Nephrology Nexus Symposium 2014, 600 delegates Preparations are well advanced including the hosting of more than 40 site inspections, many from participating countries. The event will benefit Brisbane and the business events industry for years into future providing significant opportunities for tourism, trade and investment. Attended by some of the most powerful leaders of the modern world, the G20 Summit will be a once in a lifetime experience. Also on the Centre’s 2014 calendar of events are nine new exhibitions across a broad spectrum of interest areas. These include AWISA (Australian Woodworking Industry Suppliers Association) 2014, Supanova 2014, The Courier Mail Home Show 2014, Mind Body and Spirit Festival and ConveneQ – a new business events showcase for Queensland. The Centre has a busy lead-up to the G20 with more than 600 events already on the calendar including 120 conferences. Among those recently confirmed conferences set to deliver $83.3 million to Brisbane in economic benefit and 204,798 hotel room nights are: Source = Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre The Centre partners with Brisbane Marketing and Tourism Events Queensland to bring key conferences to Brisbane. These conferences will include the 29th International Horticulture Congress 2014 for 2,000 delegates with some 17 additional symposia, XXXII World Congress of Audiology 2014 for 2,000 delegates, Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver for 1500 delegates, 5th Congress of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE) 2014 for 1,000 delegates and Oz Water 2014 for 1500 delegates – to name a few. 9th World Congress of Melanoma 2017, 1,500 delegates Gastro 2015: AGW/WGO International Congress 2015, 2,500 delegates The Centre reported an impressive first six months of the 2013/14 Financial Year with 51 new convention wins bringing 41,270 delegates to Brisbane including some of the world’s leading medical and scientific experts. Conference of the International Bone & Mineral Society (IBMS) 2017, 1,000 delegates BCEC is preparing for a momentous year, the undoubted highlight of which is hosting the G20 World Leaders Summit in November. Annual Conference of Association of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgeons of Asia 2017, 600 delegates Congress of the World Federation of Critical Care Nurses (WFCCN) 2016, 500 delegates Meeting of the International Association for Dental Research Asia Pacific Region 2019, 1,000 delegates
Etihad Airways, president and chief executive officer, James Hogan said at the opening ceremony that the opening of the lounge demonstrates the airline’s dedication to Australia. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale Etihad Airways officially open its new Premium Lounge at Sydney Airport today, the airline’s first in Australia. “The opening of the new First and Business Class Lounge in Sydney is yet another milestone in our commitment to Australia and demonstrates the importance we place on delivering ‘best-in-class’ at every point in the guests’ journey,” Mr Hogan said. The lounge is available to Etihad Airways Diamond First Class and Pearl Business Class passengers and is available to Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Gold and Platinum Passengers. The lounge is set over two levels and an area of 789 metres squared and includes Apple computers, Wi-Fi connectivity, multi-input plugs, a children’s play room, shower facilities and a bar and a la carte restaurant. The lounge is located in Pier C of the International Terminal next to Gate 51 and is supported by many furnishings and a new Abu Dhabi inspired design.
The Qantas Group has announced new services to its international and domestic network in Queensland, providing customers with more direct travel options at home and overseas. Internationally, Qantas will increase its upcoming Brisbane to Tokyo service from four to seven return flights a week, starting in August. Domestically, Qantas and Jetstar are adding more than 15,000 seats a year to the Whitsunday Coast region as part of a dual brand revamp to the two airlines flying. From 27 June, Qantas will also introduce a twice weekly return service between Melbourne and Hamilton Island, at the same time Jetstar will start operating a direct three-times weekly service between Melbourne and the Whitsunday Coast Airport from 25 June 2015. Qantas’ regional manager for Queensland Peter Collyns, said the announcement demonstrated the Group’s commitment to growing inbound and outbound visitors.“This is great news for Qantas customers who now have a range of new, direct travel options on our international and domestic network, Qantas customers now have a direct premium service from Melbourne to Hamilton Island, and Jetstar will offer the only low fares between Melbourne and the Whitsunday Coast Airport,” Mr Collyns said. Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive officer David Hall, said he was impressed by the revitalisation taking place in Airlie Beach during a visit to the region in December 2014. “We know that local tourism operators have been calling for a direct Melbourne service for some time and Jetstar is delighted to offer it with the support of the Whitsunday Regional Council,” Mr Hall said. Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
All Blacks experience set to attract business visitorsNew Zealand’s business events industry is set to benefit from a new high-profile visitor attraction dedicated to the All Blacks’ rugby prowess.Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says the All Blacks Experience, to open on Auckland’s waterfront in early 2016, will be a big drawcard for international conference and incentive delegates.“We applaud Rugby New Zealand and Discovery Partners for creating this world-class attraction, and adding to our stable of stand-out experiences for business visitors.“Not only is it an educational and fun experience, it also has the potential to be an exciting function and meeting venue right in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter,” she says.Sue Sullivan says Australian conference visitors in particular will be drawn to the opportunity to pit themselves against the All Blacks.“The All Blacks are well-known and respected and they embody our unique culture. It will add a new dimension for visitors coming here for business events – a chance to immerse themselves in a real rugby game environment.“Our conference and incentive visitors typically come in the off-season months, and will help ensure the All Blacks Experience is busy all year round.”For information about All Black Experience visit www.experienceallblacks.comSource = Conventions & Incentives New Zealand
Australian Travel Agent Barometerlearn more about ATAB hereSource = Australian Travel Agent Barometer – ATAB Australian Travel Agent BarometerResults in for the Australian Travel Agent Barometer 2015/16The Australian Travel Agent Barometer (ATAB) for 2015/16 results have been released. The survey attracted over 150 responses from both Australian Travel Agents and consultants nationally from all buying groups and both leisure and corporate businesses took part.The key Issues this year were:Australian Travel Agents are generally positive about the industryIndustry confusion over the role of ATAS accreditationMost consultants (88%) were either unsure or said ATAS offered consumer protection.37% of owner managers were either unsure or thought ATAS offered consumer protection to their customers.Many travel advertisers did not promote ATAS membership or logo and some were still using old travel agent license numbers.On a typical Sunday, out of 41 advertisements only 11 advertisers referred to ATAS in any form (3 used the ATAS logo and 8 mentioned)Most agents acknowledged there was little unprompted consumer awareness of ATASScarcity of well trained staff in the industry and strategies to keep existing good staffStaff costs were a hurdle for some to grow their businessA general scarcity of staff is a major issueOnline competitive pressureShrinking marginsAttracting new customersConsumer marketing and attracting new customers was a significant issue with many agents joining buying groups with the hope of marketing support but few groups are delivering on the expectationThe ATAB survey is produced independently by Simon Bernardi and a full copy of the study is available from www.ATAB.net.au or by calling 0418 111 484
Wyndham welcomes two Hawaii properties to growing portfolioWyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific has taken its first steps beyond the Asia Pacific region with the addition of two properties on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham Bali Hai Villas and WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham Ka ‘Eo Kai, both located in the resort community of Princeville, will be available to timeshare owners in the WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham from January 2018.WorldMark South Pacific Club is a modern and flexible vacation ownership program that gives more than 55,000 WorldMark owners a convenient and affordable way to holiday across a network of 30 resorts in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand and Hawaii.“For a long time our WorldMark South Pacific Club owners have been telling us that Hawaii is among their most desired holiday destinations, and we are thrilled to add two Kauai properties to our resort collection,” said Barry Robinson, President and Managing Director, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific.“We continue to enrich and widen the choice of experiences and destinations available through the WorldMark South Pacific Club, and the addition of these resorts provides even more options and flexibility for our owners when booking their holidays.”Known as the Garden Isle thanks to the thick blanket of rainforest covering much of the island, Kauai boasts famous sites include the Waimea Canyon, Napali Coast, Kalalau Lookout, Wailua Falls and Hanalei Beach.WorldMark Ka ‘Eo Kai offers breathtaking ocean and mountain views, with amenities including an outdoor swimming pool, a children’s pool, tennis court, laundry facilities and concierge services.WorldMark Bali Hai Villas is adjacent to the Makai Golf Club and boasts two outdoor swimming pools, three outdoor hot tubs, a volleyball court and barbecue area.Source = Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says that multi-destination marketing of countries within the Caribbean will serve to boost visitor arrivals and add value to the tourism product in the region. “It provides for partnership (among) countries that will allow for cost effectiveness, and so, when we bring partners together, we share in the cost and we benefit together,” he said.Jamaica is looking to formalise a multi-destination arrangement with Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The move will see the introduction of a tripartite marketing agreement that will create new experiences for visitors.“So the experience of Jamaica, for example, can be had by those who buy Cuba and the experiences of the Dominica Republic can be had by those who buy Jamaica. It also allows airlines to make mutli-drops to fill their planes and so cost effectiveness ensues all around and connectivity is enhanced,” the Minister pointed out.
Etihad Aviation Group’s partnership strategy has been a core element of the growth of the business, stated President and CEO James Hogan in a speech recently.Delivering the keynote speech at the 19th Annual Global Airfinance Conference in Dublin, Hogan said that the strategy that resulted in 5.5 million guests connecting onto the Etihad Airways network from codeshares and partners in 2016, had delivered revenue and synergy benefits.“Our investments had an immediate impact on the revenue side, delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenues and allowing us to fill our onward connecting flights. Those benefits have been replicated in all our minority investments – in airberlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional,” he said.“We also believed our minority investments would unlock an additional advantage that the global alliances were simply unable to use. Because we had ’skin in the game,’ we could work on joint procurement and other business synergies which would save us – and our partners – hundreds of millions of dollars. Again, we have seen similar benefits from each of our investments, with those synergies being shared by all the partners,” Hogan said.The CEO also said the third goal of the equity investments is to allow the management of these airlines to reshape their businesses into sustainable profitable operations, required a longer term view.He stated that,“We are committed to our equity partner strategy – it delivers a huge amount to our business. Some of those airlines need to react to the market pressures they face, and we are supportive of that process.”“That approach has helped Etihad grow from a $300 million a year airline, to a diversified aviation group which delivers revenues of more than $26 billion. Etihad Airways sits at the heart of that business, of course, but is now only one element of a model which includes significant other businesses and investments,” Hogan added.
RE/MAX Sees Home Price Drop Over July August 19, 2011 429 Views in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Over July, home prices fell 0.18 percent lower than over the month before, following a four-month upshot, according to a “”RE/MAX””:http://www.remax.com/ national housing report released Friday. RE/MAX said that 11 metropolitan areas around the country also registered higher prices in July than over the same period last year.[IMAGE]Among these 11 metropolitan areas, Detroit saw a 14.3-percent boost, while Birmingham jumped upward by 9.8 percent. Markets in Des Moines reflected a 7.7-percent increase over the same month, alongside Orlando and Pittsburgh, which reflected home-price spikes by 5.5 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.[COLUMN_BREAK]””The fact that July home sales were higher than a year ago, and by such a significant amount, gives us reason for great optimism,”” Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC, said in a statement. “”And now that prices have risen for four of the past five months, the housing market is beginning to show definite signs of recovery.””RE/MAX said that homes lasted on the market for a total of some 88 days, starting with the initial listing to the receipt for a sale. The July number fell less than the 90-day wait period experienced over June. July averages mirrored those from September 2010, as average days on the market also came to 88.The company chalked up the number of months’ inventory supply to 7.2, citing fewer foreclosed properties as the principal reason why. The number dropped below a 9.3-high seen for the same month back in 2010.Meanwhile, houses in Florida markets yielded the sharpest plunge in its inventory, according to RE/MAX, with Miami seeing prices drop by 52.5 percent. Tampa saw declines by 37.3 percent, as Phoenix markets underwent a 35.6-percent drop, with Los Angeles and Chicago following at 32.4 percent and 26.9 percent, respectively. Agents & Brokers Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing RE/MAX Service Providers 2011-08-19 Ryan Schuette Share
Restrained by slow wage growth, personal income rose a disappointing $30.9 billion (0.2 percent) in March–half of what economists expected–as spending rose $21.0 billion or 0.2 percent, the “”Bureau of Economic Analysis””:http://bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/2013/pdf/pi0313.pdf reported Monday. [IMAGE]Economists had expected income to improve 0.4 percent in February and spending to increase 0.1 percent.The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported average weekly earnings rose 0.3 percent in March with an increase of 88,000 payroll jobs, boosting aggregate weekly earnings, which represent about 52 percent of personal income.The personal income number is a key driver of the economy fueling consumption which is, according to Friday’s Gross Domestic Product report, about 71 percent of the total economy. Wages grew just 0.2 percent in March, down from 0.7 percent in February. In 2012, wages grew an average of 0.3 percent per month.Even though total personal income rose faster than spending, savings dropped $1.8 billion after accounting for taxes, reducing disposable income and personal interest (no-mortgage), which rose $1.6 billion during the month despite continued low interest rates.The personal savings rate–measured as a percentage of disposable income–remained at February’s rate of 2.7 percent.Personal income had improved $15.2 billion in February, largely on the strength of an $80 billion increase in dividend payments. Dividend payments in March increased by $4.5 billion over February.[COLUMN_BREAK]Some of the February increase in dividends may have been timing adjustments. Dividend income soared in December as companies paid out special dividends before the end of the year, uncertain as to the effects of “”fiscal cliff”” negotiations that might have affected dividend tax rates as of January 1. Dividends in December jumped $281.3 billion in December but then boomeranged to drop $375.2 billion in January. The February increase would have been a return to more normal payout rates.Government transfer payments–largely Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance–increased a net $3.7 billion in March, down from February’s $11.3 billion monthly increase. Unemployment insurance payments dropped $4.2 billion in March, a reflection of an improving labor market and the expiration of benefits. Those payments will fall again in April as sequester cuts reduce unemployment benefit programs further. The increase in personal consumption spending came entirely in the service sector, while spending for both durable and non-durable goods fell. That purchase of goods declined suggests further struggles for the economy as retailers will have no need to stock shelves, reducing factory orders and potentially both retail and wholesale trade employment. Retail employment declined 24,000 in March, according to the BLS–about two-thirds of the jobs added in January and February combined.The $29.8 billion drop in durable goods spending is a confidence indicator, as durable goods spending is typically financed by borrowing.Even with continued low interest rates, personal interest payments–for non-mortgage debt–increased to $175.1 billion in March from $172.6 in February.Inflation (as measured by the personal consumption expenditures price index) fell 0.1percent in March after rising 0.4 in February. Excluding volatile food and energy, the core index was unchanged in March compared with a 0.1 bump in February. Year-over-year, overall inflation was 1.0 percent in March, down from 1.3 percent in February. The core inflation rate–excluding food and energy–was 1.1 percent in March, down from 1.3 percent in February._Hear Mark Lieberman Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 8:45 a.m. Eastern time._ April 29, 2013 398 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer spending Demand Inflation Investors Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Personal income Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2013-04-29 Mark Lieberman Slow Wage Growth Holds Down March Personal Income
in Headlines, News, Technology Pavaso’s VP of Partner Strategies, Government Affairs Elected to Co-Chair MISMO Workgroup Nancy G. PrattNancy G. Pratt, VP of Partner Strategies, Government Affairs at Pavaso, was elected to serve as co-chair of the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) eMortgage Workgroup at the organization’s Winter Summit in January.The eMortgage Workgroup develops voluntary technical standards and business and technical guidance for the advancement of electronic mortgages and paperless technology in the mortgage industry and also provides general education about the legal framework for the use of eMortgages and related standards.“I’m elated to serve as part of the MISMO leadership. I’ve been active with MISMO for quite some time, so when the opportunity to co-chair a group that aligns so well with my endeavor to implement widespread eClosings, I jumped at the chance,” Pratt stated.Current projects for the eMortgage Workgroup include an Implementation Guide for SMART Docsâ, a report on warehouse lender interests and concerns with eNotes, and an eMortgage Glossary.“We have high expectations of everything that we can accomplish with this group and have strict objectives set to ensure that we achieve everything we set forth at the Winter Summit,” Pratt added.Pratt has been in the mortgage/title industry for over 32 years and has over 12 years’ experience specifically in the eMortgage/eClosing space. Highlights of her career include industry milestones of performing the first complete eMortgage with lenders and conducting the first ever FHA and VA eClosings. At Pavaso, Pratt manages the firm’s strategic partnerships and is responsible in maintaining relationships at the federal and state level, as well as understanding key regulatory issues and laws that pertain to the operations of Pavaso.She has been invited to speak at various Industry Conventions as an eClosing/eMortgage subject expert and is a member of the ALTA Government Affairs, Public Relations, State Regulatory Action and Technology Committee. Pratt is also a member of the MBA MISMO Residential Technology Committee. She is a member of PRIA, MBA, MISMO, ESRA, RESPRO, National eNotarization Board and served on the eMortgage FNMA Innovation Team. February 26, 2016 621 Views Share Pavaso VP of Partner Strategies and Government Affairs 2016-02-26 Staff Writer
Arch Mortgage Insurance Homeownership Rate Housing Market Mortgage Rates Originations Ralph Defranco 2016-11-11 Seth Welborn Share Ralph DeFranco is the Chief Economist at Arch Mortgage Insurance. DeFranco leads Arch MI’s forecasting of regional housing prices, overall regional housing market risk, and development of the company’s mortgage claim and pricing models. He also authors the quarterly Housing and Mortgage Market Review (HAMMR) on the state of the nation’s housing sector. DeFranco recently spoke with MReport about some predictions for the housing market for 2017, including origination volumes, mortgage rates, and the homeownership rate.Some in the industry, such as Freddie Mac, are predicting lower origination volumes next year compared to 2016. What is your outlook for mortgage originators?I like the standard conventional wisdom that rates are going to be gradually rising, so that means that we are going to see a steep drop in refinances. At the same time, the purchase market is growing, so it may grow by 10 or 15 percent next year from this year. The MBA is predicting a 20 percent increase in the purchase market. The reasons for that would be higher home prices, but also there is a slightly lower share of loans purchased that are all cash each year, so there will be a few more actual mortgages within the same number of transactions. But then also the homebuilding is ramping up. Between homebuilding, fewer all cash purchases, and higher home prices, you get higher seller volume on the purchase front. All in, we’re still expecting a decline when you add up the purchase and refi. They’ll probably be down slightly, but it’s hard to say. It depends on how fast interest rates move up. These things really should have very wide ranges around them, because the interest rate uncertainty is so large.What role will foreign homebuyers play in the market in 2017?If the dollar weakens, that will increase the number of foreign buyers. The foreign buyers are concentrated in certain areas. Foreign buyers have a small impact on the country as a whole, but they have an impact in certain areas, such as the West Coast—particularly in the upper middle class and higher end neighborhoods. They tend to buy houses that are almost twice as expensive as the median house in their markets, so they tend to be on the upper end of the quality scale.Why is there a higher risk of home price decline in the “energy patch”?Job growth has been falling. There are some areas of the country where there has been job losses. That includes North Dakota, Wyoming, and some smaller cities within other states. Those areas have still seen positive home price growth, but the risk is higher that there will be stagnation or a slight decline. The reasons behind that are the boom in tracking hasn’t fully unwound. There still layoffs and still over-effects from the slowdown in that sector that are still occurring.What do you think is going to be the effect of this new administration on the country’s homeownership rate, which hit a 51-year low in Q2?The trend has been downward, and part of that is because there are still foreclosures. Basically 0.9 percent of all mortgages are still in the foreclosure process, and most of that is left over from the housing crisis. As that finishes getting mopped up at the tail end of the foreclosure process, that is actually probably going to continue. The homeownership rate will likely decrease in the near term. What happens in the longer term will depend on what housing policies Trump puts in place. My sense is that he’s going to help on the demand side of the equation. For example, it will likely ease credit availability. There are good quality borrowers out there that have had difficulty getting a mortgage because of very tight regulations. I expect a lot of that is going to be reversed. An increase in infrastructure spending and tax cuts will be stimulative, and that will help the homeownership rate. Trump has talked about increasing supply, but it’s not clear how he can do that. Most of the restrictions on housing are local, so they won’t be able to have too strong of an effect on that.President-elect Trump has talked about easing regulation on the housing industry. Do you think that will have a positive or negative or negative effect?It will increase demand, but if supply doesn’t increase as well, what you’ll see is home prices will go up even faster than they currently are. They’re up around 5 percent year-over-year, which is faster than incomes have risen, so affordability is getting a little squeezed. If you loosen the underwriting guidelines a little bit, nothing like what we had back in the crisis, but if you open up the credit box some, that would increase demand even more, which would push up home prices even faster.What do you think will happen with mortgage rates in 2017?Our economy is actually standing pretty well. The U.S. has created about 2.5 million jobs over the last year. Interest rates should actually be much higher than they actually are right now. They’ve just been artificially suppressed by weakness overseas and concern over things like Brexit.Where they are headed is a harder question to answer after the election, because there is so much uncertainty about what a Trump Administration is going to do and what policies he is going to pursue. I personally think that they will probably rise faster than previously forecasted, because I expect that with a Republican Congress and president, they’re going to push forward with a large tax cut and large infrastructure spending, both of which will be positive for the economy, which would push interest rates up faster than they would be without those.”Will mortgage rates rise gradually over the next year? Will they get above 4 percent?That is a really tough one to call. We were thinking mortgage rates would average about 4 percent for next year. That was before the election. Now I think there is a much wider range around what could happen, and I expect it will be variable. It probably won’t go in a straight line gradually upward. It may lurch forward or lurch down based on surprises to the market, like trade friction or bellicose language against Iran. Who knows how the markets will react to that sort of thing?If there is increased uncertainty, that typically benefits mortgage rates. It keeps them lower than they normally would be. But a big tax cut and a big infrastructure bill, if those pass or even seem likely to pass, what would push rates up higher. I wouldn’t expect them to skyrocket. I would say rates are probably going to be perhaps a half a percentage point higher next year compared to this year. That’s not the end of the world in terms of affordability, but it does mean that people should move sooner rather than later. A Closer Look at What Lies Ahead November 11, 2016 767 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News
Bureau of Labor Statistics Doug Duncan Economy HOUSING Job Market Labor Department Unemployment 2019-03-08 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News The February 2019 Employment Situation released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday showed that hiring slowed sharply for the month with only 20,000 new jobs, compared to the 181,000 jobs that economists expected to be added in February. That is the fewest job gains since September 2017, when major hurricanes affected employment, and a sharp decline from December’s gains of 227,000, and January with 311,000.According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent from 4 percent, The partial government shutdown added fuel to the jobless rate in January because many federal government employees were unemployed or on temporary leave, but an offsetting drop was expected as those workers returned. Economists were looking for a slowdown in payroll growth last month after gains in January that were inflated by unusually mild weather, meanwhile, above-average snowfall in mid-February was set to reduce total employment by an estimated 40,000. Employment in construction declined by 31,000 in February, partially offsetting an increase of 53,000 in January. But over the year, construction has added 223,000 jobs. Regardless of the plummet in February, economists expect a rebound in the April-June quarter, and there are already signs due to the rise in consumer confidence. More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in January, propelled by lower mortgage rates, and analysts have forecast that annual growth will top 2 percent next quarter.Weighing in on the report, Doug Duncan, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, said “We expect the Fed to raise rates only once more this year, in June, before pausing. Meanwhile, in the residential construction sector, a weather-sensitive industry, the number of jobs fell in February. However, the sharp increase in housing starts and continued improvements in builder sentiment suggest that this month’s decline does not signal a continuation of weakness in the industry.” U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta issued a statement saying “At 3.4% year-over-year, wage gains hit their highest mark since April 2009. The year-over-year average hourly earnings growth surpassing 3.0% for the seventh straight month is good news for America’s workers. Further, Duncan stated, “Although the labor force participation rate held steady in February, the rate for those aged between 16 and 64 rose to its highest level since May 2010. Amid mixed signals from the labor market, well-contained inflation, and the dovish shift by the ECB, we believe the Fed is likely to remain patient.” Read the full report here. Share March 8, 2019 882 Views Decline in Employment: Will It Impact Housing?
August 13 , 2018 Chile expecting U.S. to lift blueberry fumigation … You might also be interested in Chile declares agricultural emergency in drought-r … “For many retailers, engaging in a program last season was very tough because they didn’t have any previous experience with nectarines from Chile,” said Matamala.”For this season, based on what we have discussed with them, everyone seems to want to increase their volumes. Also, the Chinese New Year comes early next year, so that would be interesting.”Matamala has been meeting retailers in China over the past few weeks, including China’s second-biggest e-commerce player JD.com. But the company will continue to focus on chain supermarkets and fruit shops, where the greatest demand still lies.”What we are experiencing is a bigger demand of the supermarkets and retail areas, more so than the wholesale portion. E-commerce is still small – we meet with them every year and hope to do something with them in that regard but you never know,” said Matamala.”Our distributors had put some of the nectarines in different channels including e-commerce for the last season, but it wasn’t like the demand that we had expected, but I believe this will change in the future.”For many online retailers, all of the varieties from Chile were new – they didn’t really know and were probably more skeptical of what to expect. With more time and promotions, this sector will probably increase.”More yellow-fleshed nectarines in the Chinese market in the futureUnlike consumers in the west, Chinese consumers tend to have a preference for white-fleshed nectarines. While this has not changed, Matamala expects an uptick in exports of yellow-fleshed varieties.”We and other exporters exported yellow-fleshed nectarines [to China this year] and the results were actually not bad, said Matamala. “Besides that, you see that the Australians are doing the same with the yellow nectarines. Not now, not next season, but in the future I see that yellow-fleshed nectarines will have a big market in China.”He believes that these consumer preferences could shape Chile’s future nectarine production plans.”I think all the knowledge we are getting from this recent opening of the Chinese market will shape a little bit of the industry in Chile. We used to have regular varieties but companies including us are now growing new varieties to target the Chinese market – especially those sweeter white-fleshed nectarines.””These couple of years we will see what is the trend and probably new change will happen in Chile.” Experts analyze biggest challenges facing Chile at … The Chilean nectarine industry will likely see a change in Asian market distribution this upcoming season, with China expected to take more fruit this upcoming second full season.Gonzalo Matamala, general manager for China at Chile’s largest nectarine exporter, GESEX, told Fresh Fruit Portal that while total exports are expected to remain similar to last year, China would likely see a 10% rise at the expense of Taiwan.”If you see the numbers from last year, Taiwan is coming down strong,” said Matamala.”Taiwan has been the big market for nectarines in the past years before the opening of the Chinese market [in February 2017], but you see that in terms of its economy and demand, they are going down, so you have to allocate the fruit to other markets.”He said Taiwan last year received around 600,000 boxes of nectarines from Chile, but the projection this year is only 400,000 boxes freeing up 200,000 additional boxes for China.Tough last season in ChinaChilean nectarines had not performed as well as anticipated in China last season, according to Matamala, even during Chinese New Year which normally sees high demand and prices.”At the beginning, the results were very good, similar to prices of cherries, and in some weeks even higher,” he said.”But when the season approached Chinese New Year we saw a very big drop in prices. A couple of weeks later after Chinese New Year, the prices increased again – not as big as pre-Chinese New Year, but there were still some increases.”Particularly for Chinese New Year, the season was very tough. The demand didn’t increase – this year it was very strange.”Matamala attributed the strange situation to the large Chilean cherry volumes in the market. In addition, he said that Australia – Chile’s biggest nectarine competitor – also exported a lot more nectarines to China this year.’Everyone seems to want to increase’However, he is confident that the Chinese market will still be able to absorb the additional volumes for the next season, due to begin in late October. Chile scores access to Chinese pear market …
Trafalgar has strengthened its Queensland sales team with the appointment of Lauren Stuchbury as sales manager.Stuchbury has been nominated for the NTIA Sales Executive of the Year award for three years running and has over 15 years of experience within the tourism industry.Previous roles include business development executive with Qantas Holidays, and reservations and sales consultant roles with Talpacific Holidays and Harvey World Travel.“We are extremely excited to welcome Lauren to Trafalgar’s sales team and the wider family. Lauren’s extensive experience within sales has provided her with a unique understanding of today’s travellers, allowing her to establish desirable relationships with trade partners. Lauren’s industry knowledge will assist us in providing agents with dedicated support in the Queensland region,” said managing director Matthew Cameron-Smith. Trafalgar
IMAGE: Snorkelling, DobuThe third in a suite of unique and pioneering circumnavigation voyages in 2020, Coral Expeditions has launched a new 35-night Circumnavigation of New Guinea itinerary – an extraordinary journey onboard the brand new 120 passenger Coral Adventurer. Tambanum Sepik River“Our circumnavigation itineraries are the truest form of exploration,” says Mark Fifield, Group General Manager of Coral Expeditions. “With the sophisticated expedition capabilities of the Coral Adventurer, we are able to bring guests up close to the region’s natural habitats and hidden communities in comfort and safety.” The New Guinea circumnavigation will feature visits to iconic locations such as Raja Ampat and the Gumdrop Islands, the Spice Islands, The Sepik & Mamberamo Rivers, Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island, the Fly Islands and Tufi Fjords. Guests will also have the opportunity to encounter the fierce Asmat warriors at Agats and witness their famous carvings. A highlight during this voyage will be visiting the two mightiest rivers of New Guinea, the Sepik and the Mamberamo. “New Guinea is filled with hidden treasures, the likes of which feature on only the worldliest explorer’s bucket lists. For instance, we will spend two mornings searching for and swimming with the beautiful Whale Sharks at Cenderawasih Bay. This region is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to swim with these majestic animals,” Fifield added.Pricing for the Circumnavigation of New Guinea starts at $25,150 per person twin share. Available as a full 35-night circumnavigation, or in a limited number as half segments Darwin to Madang and Madang to Darwin. Guests who book direct or via travel partners by June 30 will receive a 10% early bird offer.
Comments Share Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Kevin Kolb will probably start Sunday against the DallasCowboys.The quarterback, who has missed the last four games due tovarious ailments, has taken the starter’s share of reps inpractice this week, and seems to be good to go.However, head coach Ken Whisenhunt isn’t ready name Kolbthe starter…yet.“I’d like to get through [Friday] and make sure there’s nosetbacks,” Whisenhunt said. “We’re obviously workingtowards that being the case. “The only thing that’s going to prevent that is if he hassome soreness in his foot and he doesn’t feel comfortableSunday.”While remote, that’s still a possibility. That’s whyWhisenhunt said John Skelton, who has started the lastfour games, is still getting a good amount of work inpractice this week.“You’ve got to be prepared for that,” Whisenhunt said.Whoever lines up under center for the Cardinals Sundaywill have their work cut out for them. The Cowboys arerolling right now and feature one of the game’s bestdefensive lines, one that includes Anthony Spencer and oneof the game’s best sack artists, DeMarcus Ware, who has 14sacks on the season. In 11 games. Good luck, Levi Brown. Look out, whomever is atquarterback.“Our approach offensively has got to be one where weidentify where those guys are and we’re on the same page,”Whisenhunt said. “We’ve got to make some plays offensively— especially on third down — to get some consistencygoing.”
D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ If not for the missed field goal, it would have been easy to point at Williams’ fumble as the reason for the loss.Whisenhunt said Williams was “torn up” about what happened, but he also added that he felt Williams made some good runs late in the game. “We thought we had a chance to win the game without ever having to give it back to them,” Whisenhunt said. “This (fumble) was unfortunate.”Whisenhunt said he spoke to Williams about the incident and told him a story about former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, in which Bettis fumbled in a similar situation during a 2005 playoff game. “In the next two weeks, Jerome was huge for us as far as getting to the Super Bowl,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s the type of mentality that you got to have. You got to learn from it and you got to go forward.” 0 Comments Share With just 1:10 remaining on the clock, Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams fumbled at the his own 33-yard line. The New England Patriots recovered it and had a chance to steal a game the Cardinals appeared to have all wrapped up. Then with six seconds remaining and his team down 20-18, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski lined up for a 42-yard field goal to win the game. It sailed wide left. “Our team stuck together and we found a way to win and that really is all that matters,” Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “You learn from it. It is a lot easier to learn from it in this situation.” What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
It has been almost a month since I last worked my way through a seven-round Arizona Cardinals mock draft — and that was done for a reason — we were finally getting some clear information on what the Cardinals would be looking to do.If we can harken back to three weeks ago, ArizonaSports.com outlined what the Cardinals will be looking to add per head coach Bruce Arians, and his list was pretty concise.“We need depth, offensively and defensively, on the lines. I’d like to have a young safety and corner, and any receiver that runs 4.2.” he said to NFL Network’s Lindsey Soto. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share Other Possibilities: JJ Wilcox, Josh Boyce, Xavier Nixon, Josh EvansRound 6 (174th overall) – Corey Fuller, WR, Virginia TechIf the Cardinals are looking for a possible deep threat, Fuller could be that guy. He lacks the refinement to be more than a fourth receiver early, but his deep speed and separation ability, coupled with the fact he tracks the ball well, could be ideal in the Arians offense.Other Possibilities: David Bass, Nickell Robey, Jasper Collins, Jelani JenkinsRound 7 (219th overall) – Marc Anthony, CB, CaliforniaI highly doubt Anthony will be here, but he is a nice end-of-the-draft-type who can come in and play special teams and fight for playing time in the secondary.Other possibilities: Ray Ray Armstrong, Uzoma Nwachukwu, Abry Jones Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Using that information, here’s what I think Thursday, Friday and Saturday could look like for the Cards.Note: The Cardinals have been tied to two prospects right now: Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson and North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper, both offensive line prospects, despite Arians saying earlier in the day that they won’t draft an offensive lineman just to take an offensive lineman.Round 1 (7th overall) – Star Lotulelei, DT, UtahI put a disclaimer that I would wait until late at night Wednesday to make a decision if I would change this pick, and have received no new info that leads me to believe that the Cardinals will look elsewhere if the first round plays out similarly to how I had it going.Other Possibilities: Chance Warmack, Lane Johnson, Jonathan Cooper, Dion JordanRound 2 (38th overall) – DJ Swearinger, S, South CarolinaSwearinger has been an intriguing prospect all along as a potential plug and play safety on the back end of the Cardinals defense.He is a ferocious hitter, with excellent play diagnosis and recognition skills, and has the versatility to thrive in defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ secondary.Other Possibilities: Terron Armstead, Menelik Watson, Justin Pugh, Mike Glennon, Ryan Nassib, Corey Lemonier The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Round 3 (69th overall) – Brian Winters, OL, Kent StateWhen you look at what the Cardinals want to do, it includes getting versatile offensive linemen, and that is what Winters is. He played left tackle at Kent State, has the build and mentality of an interior lineman, but could give you quality snaps at right tackle as well.Other possibilities: Sam Montgomery, David Bakhtiari, Phillip Thomas, Johnathan Hankins, Marquise GoodwinRound 4 (103rd overall) – Trevardo Williams, OLB ConneticutThe Cardinals need to find an answer at the pass rushing position, and if they don’t address it earlier, they could here in round four. Williams is a faster, healthier version of O’Brien Schofield, who has never had his abilities questioned.Other possibilities: Travis Frederick, David Quessenberry, Will Davis, BW Webb, Cornelius WashingtonRound 5 (140th overall) – Hugh Thornton, OG, IllinoisAs the Cardinals continue to build their team, adding versatile pieces on offense and defense will be a key. Thornton, like Winters, lined up at left tackle in college, but projects as an interior lineman in the NFL. His ability to swing to three positions makes him a very valuable late piece. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires
Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share Former Arizona Cardinal O’Brien Schofield had a quiet evening but picked up a tackle for loss with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Schofield spent his first three seasons with Arizona before joining the Seahawks for the 2013 campaign.The Broncos, who were blown out 43-8, sported four players with Arizona connections in the showdown. Former Cardinals linebacker Paris Lenon recorded two tackles in the big game, but also left the contest in the second half due to a rib injury. Twenty-seven-year-old cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who was drafted by the Cardinals and played his first three seasons with Big Red, recorded one solo tackle Sunday in New Jersey.Former Sun Devils quarterback Brock Osweiler and safety Omar Bolden did not put up any numbers on the stat sheet for the Broncos, unless you count the late hit Seattle’s Ricardo Lockette delivered on Bolden in the first quarter to get whistled for unnecessary roughness. – / 70 Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Plenty of players in Super Bowl XLVIII have Arizona ties, but none of them made a major impact in the matchup between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.For the Seahawks, former Arizona State tight end Zach Miller caught one of the two passes that came his way. Denver tried an onside kick at the beginning of the fourth quarter, and the 28-year-old former Sun Devil secured the ball and didn’t try to advance. A couple of plays later, he had his lone catch of the game for 10 yards, which helped Seattle continue a drive in which Russell Wilson threw a touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin for 10 yards. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling