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VOL. 128 | NO. 70 | Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Daily Digest

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Baptist Medical Group Buys Collierville Center

Baptist Memorial Medical Group Inc. has paid $4.4 million for the 39,635-square-foot medical office building at 400 E. Market Blvd. in Collierville.

The multi-specialty physician practice, an affiliate of Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp., bought the Class A facility in an April 4 special warranty deed from Collierville Medical Center LLC.

In 1996, that entity had acquired the then-vacant property from Malco Stage Road LLC for $855,312.

Built in 1998, the office medical building sits on 3.9 acres along the east side of East Market Boulevard north of its intersection with West Poplar Avenue. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal was $3.1 million.

Dr. Charles Woodall signed the warranty deed as managing partner of Collierville Medical Center.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Memphis Makes Top 15 ‘Termite Towns’

Memphis-based Terminix has ranked Memphis in its top 15 metro areas with the highest probability of termite swarms.

The rankings, topped by Atlanta, are based on termite service calls to Terminix from 2011 and 2012 and balanced with population density statistics.

Memphis ranked 15th on the top 15 list. Nashville was 11th.

The swarms are when termites leave their colony to find mates and begin establishing new colonies. With a cool spring so far, the swarms have been delayed a bit in many parts of the country.

Terminix is one of the brands that is part of Memphis-based The ServiceMaster Co.

– Bill Dries

Hope House Operating at Half Capacity

Hope House, a Memphis nonprofit that assists children and families impacted by HIV and poverty, is operating at half capacity due to lack of funding.

Last year, 65 area children were born HIV-positive, making them eligible to receive Hope House services. But without funding, all 65 children may not be able to receive the early childhood education that could have a major impact on their lives, says Craig Locke, director of development at Hope House.

The nonprofit was recently reaccredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children to continue providing early childhood education services.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Companies Post More Jobs but Fill Them Slowly

U.S. employers advertised the most job openings in nearly five years in February, but they boosted hiring at a much slower pace. The figures suggest that companies remain too cautious about the economy to quickly fill open jobs.

The number of openings rose 8.7 percent in February from January to a seasonally adjusted 3.93 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That was the most since May 2008.

At the same time, companies hired a seasonally adjusted 4.4 million people, just 2.8 percent more than in January. And hiring remains lower than it was a year ago, when it reached 4.49 million.

Economists point to several likely reasons for the disparity between a surge in job openings but only a modest rise in hiring. Many unemployed workers may lack the skills employers want. Some companies may not be offering enough pay.

And recruiting and staffing firms say some employers seem reluctant to fill jobs until they find what they regard as perfect candidates.

U.S. hiring slowed sharply in March, despite the increase in job openings the previous month. Employers added only 88,000 jobs last month, the government reported Friday. That was the fewest in nine months and nearly half the pace of the previous six months.

Some companies may also have slowed hiring after steep government spending cuts began taking effect March 1. Those cuts are expected to shave about a half-point from economic growth this year.

There were 3.1 unemployed people, on average, for each opening in February. That exceeds the roughly 2-to-1 ratio typical of a healthy economy. But it’s down sharply from a peak of 6.7 in July 2009, the highest in the 12 years the government has tracked the data.

Still, until employers start filling jobs more quickly, the ratio of unemployed people to openings may overstate the health of the job market.

– The Associated Press

US Wholesale Stockpiles Fell 0.3 Percent in February

U.S. wholesalers cut their restocking in February by the most in 17 months. But their sales jumped, suggesting companies underestimated consumer demand.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that stockpiles at the wholesale level declined 0.3 percent in February. That followed a 0.8 percent increase in January, which was revised lower.

The decline was the first in eight months and the biggest since September 2011. Farm products and gasoline led the drop. Agriculture stockpiles have fallen in recent months because of a drought in the Midwest.

Sales at the wholesale level rose 1.7 percent, the most since November. The increase was led by large gains in gasoline, clothes and computers.

Shrinking stockpiles weigh on economic growth because it means factories are producing fewer goods. But a jump in consumer spending in February suggests companies will have to build their stockpiles faster in the coming months, which should spur more growth.

Sluggish growth in stockpiles was a key reason the economy barely grew in the October-December quarter. But economists are looking for a significant rebound in business restocking this year, helped by a resilient consumer that has continued to spend despite paying higher taxes.

Most economists expect growth accelerated in the January-March quarter to an annual rate of more than 3 percent. That would be a vast improvement over the 0.4 percent growth in the final three months of 2012.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 41 308 2,265
MORTGAGES 47 379 2,607
BUILDING PERMITS 128 1,018 6,068
BANKRUPTCIES 53 255 1,787