Building permits boost state economy

A sizable jump in residential building permits gave the North Carolina economy a boost during October, according to an index compiled by economics professor Michael Walden of N.C. State University. The latest index was released Tuesday.

The index measures leading state economic indicators, such as manufacturing employment hours and wages, residential building permits and initial jobless claims. It ordinarily serves as a forecast of the state economy four to six months out. The data is seasonally adjusted.

The index was up 0.5% from September to October, but still down 1% from October 2018.

Richard Craver

Furnishings orders jump 7% in September

Orders placed with home-furnishings manufacturers were at $2.75 billion in September, up 7.4% from a year earlier, according to a monthly survey released Tuesday by Smith Leonard PLLC, a financial-services company in High Point.

Orders also were up 15.6% from August.

About 64% of survey participants had a year-over-year increase in orders during September. However, 70% had an overall decrease from the year to date.

By comparison, home-furnishings retail sales were at $9.87 billion in October, up 1% from a year ago, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. Sales were down 0.9% from September.

“The September results were better than we expected overall, but certainly not for all,” said Ken Smith, Smith Leonard’s director of furniture services.

Richard Craver

Lewisville group buys 3 Winston-Salem properties

A Lewisville real-estate development company has spent $2.1 million on three commercial properties on Lowery Street in Winston-Salem, according to a Forsyth County Register of Deeds filing.

The buyer is Capital Investors NC LLC, with Matthew Marceron listed as president on the corporation’s website for the N.C. Secretary of State’s office.

The seller is Lowery Street-One LLC.

The Register of Deeds filing does not list addresses for the Lowery properties.

Richard Craver

M&F Bancorp board declares 6-cent dividend

The board of directors for M&F Bancorp Inc. declared Tuesday a 6-cent cash dividend on its common stock.

The dividend is payable Dec. 9 to shareholders registered as of Friday.

The Durham bank has a branch in east Winston-Salem.

Richard Craver

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