Hiring still restrained
Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies are much more optimistic about their sales prospects than they were three months ago, though many remain cautious about hiring.
The Business Roundtable said 72 percent of its members expect sales will increase in the next six months, up from 58 percent at the end of last year. And 38 percent plan to invest more in plant and equipment, up from 30 percent in the October-December quarter.
But 29 percent of CEOs plan to increase hiring over the next six months, the same percentage as the last two surveys.
The U.S. will reduce carbon dioxide emissions in 2040 to levels last seen in the 1970s as the use of natural gas and renewables increases and efficiency measures cut demand, Exxon Mobil said.
Energy-related emissions will fall 25 percent in part because of a “pronounced shift away from coal in favor of less-carbon-intensive fuels such as natural gas,” the company said in a U.S. energy outlook report.
U.S. coal consumption will plummet more than 65 percent by 2040, and a 5 percent reduction in energy demand will also cut emissions, according to the report.
Exxon also said North America may be able to export 15 percent of its natural gas output and 5 percent of oil by 2040 as the region’s production surges and demand stalls.
North America probably will become a net energy exporter by about 2025 after importing 35 percent of its oil in 2010, Exxon said in its energy outlook report.
Asia Pacific countries may import almost 40 percent of their total energy needs by 2040 as demand increases.
“After decades of relatively flat production, output of oil and other liquid fuels in North America is projected to rise by about 40 percent from 2010 to 2040,” Exxon said in the report.
Henrik Fisker, the auto designer who co-founded luxury plug-in hybrid manufacturer Fisker Automotive, said he is resigning over disagreements with the company’s other executives.
Fisker’s resignation from the Anaheim, Calif.-based company as executive chairman was effective Wednesday, he said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News. Fisker, 49, confirmed his exit in a short telephone interview.
Fisker’s main reasons for leaving “are several major disagreements” with the carmaker’s executive management on its business strategy, he said in the e-mail, without elaborating.
| Star news services