AUTOS

Ford plans to upgrade plant

Ford says it will upgrade its engine plant in the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park.

The automaker says the $145 million investment will keep or create 150 jobs at the plant.

Ford say the project will go toward production of a new 3.5-liter engine in its 2017 Ford F-150 trucks. The engine plant employs about 1,500 people.

POWER GENERATION

B&W annual revenues rise

Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises on Friday announced that its fourth quarter gross adjusted earning per share was a loss of 10 cents compared to a loss of 90 cents per share a year ago for the period ending Dec. 31.

Revenues of $502.7 million were an increase of $58.1 million, or 13.1 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2014.

“B&W ended the year with a strong quarter led by the continued growth in Global Power,” said E. James Ferland, chairman and chief executive officer of the company based in Charlotte, N.C.

Revenues for the full year of 2015 were $1.76 billion, an increase of 18.3 percent from the $1.49 billion recorded in 2014. Revenue is expected to increase to $1.8 billion in 2016, the company said in a news release ahead of its Friday conference call with investors.

ECONOMY

Consumers boost spending

Consumers ramped up their spending in January at the fastest pace in eight months as incomes also continued to grow at a strong pace in a sign economic growth is improving after slowing at the end of last year.

Inflation also picked up last month, which could help push Federal Reserve policymakers to enact another interest rate hike when they meet March 15-16.

Personal consumption expenditures increased by 0.5 percent last month, up sharply from 0.1 percent in December, the Commerce Department said Friday.

It was the strongest gain since May and exceeded analyst expectations of a 0.3 percent increase.

Revised GDP shows growth

The U.S. economy performed better at the end of 2015 than initially estimated, though growth still slowed sharply from earlier in the year, the Commerce Department said Friday.

The nation’s total economic output, also known as gross domestic product, expanded at a 1 percent annual rate from October through December. That was an improvement from the initial estimate last month of 0.7 percent growth.

The upward revision was because of more complete data, including figures showing a much smaller decline in the growth of business inventories than in the earlier estimate, the Commerce Department said. Friday’s report was the second of three estimates.

Analysts had expected fourth-quarter economic growth to be revised down to 0.4 percent Friday as the U.S. dealt with a slowing global economy and the effects of the strong dollar, which made exports more expensive abroad.

HOTELS

Hilton to spin off time shares

Hotel giant Hilton Worldwide said Friday that it plans to spin off its time share operation and most of its real estate business into separate companies.

The bulk of Hilton Worldwide’s real estate business — which includes about 70 hotels and 35,000 rooms — will become a publicly traded real estate investment trust.

The time share business, Hilton Grand Vacations, will become a separate, publicly traded company and will manage about 50 club resorts in the U.S. and Europe. This company will also have an exclusive, long-term licensing agreement with Hilton Worldwide to operate, market and sell under the Hilton Grand Vacations brand.

In a news release, Hilton Worldwide Chief Executive Christopher Nassetta said the spinoff will result in three “pure-play” companies that can focus on “growth opportunities, as well as capital market and tax efficiencies.”

The spinoffs are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.