Walmart accelerates green energy goals

This June 25, 2019, file photo shows the entrance to a Walmart in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
This June 25, 2019, file photo shows the entrance to a Walmart in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Walmart accelerates green energy goals

Walmart Inc. has invested in building new projects around the country that will generate nearly one gigawatt of renewable energy.

"These projects are expected to expand access to clean energy, drive new tax revenue to communities, create local jobs and help communities save money on energy costs," said Vishal Kapadia, Walmart's senior vice president of energy transformation, in a corporate blog post.

"Our approach to new clean energy commitments is aimed at identifying high-impact, high-quality projects that drive positive outcomes," Kapadia said.

Walmart said in January that it now powers more than 47% of its operations with renewable energy and is on track to power more than 100% by 2035. To speed progress toward this goal, however, the Bentonville-based retailer said it now aims to add one gigawatt of new clean energy at its facilities by the end of 2030.

Walmart now has more than 600 on- and off-site renewable energy projects in operation or under development in more than 10 countries, the company said.

-- Serenah McKay

March factory output unexpectedly climbs

United States factory activity unexpectedly expanded in March for the first time since September 2022 on a sharp rebound in production and stronger demand, while input costs climbed.

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing gauge rose 2.5 points to 50.3 last month, according to data released Monday. While barely above the level of 50 that separates expansion and contraction, it halted 16 straight months of shrinking activity.

The March index exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Production snapped back sharply from a month earlier with a gain of 6.2 points that was the largest since mid-2020. At 54.6, output growth was the strongest since June 2022.

"Demand remains at the early stages of recovery, with clear signs of improving conditions. Production execution surged compared to January and February, as panelists' companies reenter expansion," Timothy Fiore, chairman of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said in a statement. Nine industries reported growth in March, led by textile mills, nonmetallic minerals, paper products and petroleum. Six contracted, including furniture, plastics and rubber products, and electrical equipment.

-- Bloomberg News (WPNS)

Arkansas Index rises 3.23, ends at 956.29

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 956.29, up 3.23 points. "Stocks closed mixed on Monday on a flurry of solid economic reports that showed continued or improving strength in the U.S. manufacturing sector which stands at its strongest position since 2022,"said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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