News roundup: French firm to start direct container service between Asian, New Orleans ports … CCA Louisiana names Corry Landry as regional director … US consumer spending slows; business investment perking up

    Around the world: CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container carrier firm, has announced a new direct weekly container service from the Port of New Orleans’ Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to several ports in Asia that will start Jan. 31. A news release from the Port of New Orleans says the Marseilles, France-based firm’s service will connect to ports in Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as Shanghai, Ningbo and Chiwan in China, and Pusan, Korea. The service should offer faster transit times—the fastest of which will be 26 days from Pusan to New Orleans—that will help boost Louisiana economy, the release says. “Louisiana is an international gateway for goods bound to and from America’s industrial heartland, and having this new direct service for shippers to vital Asian markets will create greater value for our economy,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says in a statement.

    Coastal caretaker: The Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana, a Baton Rouge-based nonprofit, announced today it has appointed Corry Landry as its new southwest regional director. Landry has worked as a health, safety and environmental manager in the oil and gas industry for the past 21 years, CCA Louisiana says in a news release. His first day at CCA will be Jan. 3. As regional director, Landry will work with CCA’s seven southwest Louisiana chapters to advance the agency’s goals in conservation, membership growth, communications, advocacy and fundraising. “As we continue to grow and expand our efforts throughout the state, Corry’s addition to our staff will allow us to better serve our members,” says CCA Louisiana Executive Director David Cresson in a prepared statement.

    Trending upward: U.S. consumer spending increased modestly in November as household incomes failed to rise for the first time in nine months, suggesting the economy slowed in the fourth quarter after growing briskly in the prior period. But as Reuters reports, the economy remains on solid footing, with other data today showing new orders for U.S.-manufactured capital goods rising last month amid demand for machinery and primary metals, indicating that some of the oil-related drag on business spending was fading. And while the number of Americans applying for unemployment aid hit a six-month high last week, it remained below a level that is associated with labor market strength. The Commerce Department says consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.2% after increasing 0.4% in October. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending edged up 0.1% last month after a similar gain in October. Read the full story.

    Editor’s note: The offices of Business Report will be closed on Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26 in observance of Christmas, and Daily Report will not be published. It will return on Tuesday, Dec. 27. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

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