US companies are feeling impact of European crisis

November 14, 2011 • National News

FILE – In this March 9, 2011 file photo, Whirlpool Corp. CEO Jeff Fettig speaks in Detroit. Fettig said in October that demand is tumbling in parts of Europe. Whirlpool cut its earnings estimates and said it would lay off 5,000 workers in North America and Europe. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The tremors from Europe’s financial upheaval have reached U.S. shores, rattling consumers and companies.

The consequences have been limited so far. Yet the United States and Europe are so closely linked that any slowdown across the Atlantic is felt here. U.S. makers of cars, solar panels, drugs, clothes and computer equipment have all reported effects from Europe’s turmoil.

Worries that Europe’s crisis could worsen and spread are spooking investors and consumers just as the holiday shopping season nears. Some fear U.S. consumers could rein in spending. Europe’s sputtering growth is already dragging on some U.S. companies’ profits and could further slow the U.S. economy.

The crisis “seems to be coming to a head right at the time the U.S. economy is at its most vulnerable,” said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo.

It’s affecting companies like Marlin Steel Wire Products, a 34-employee business based in Baltimore that’s been seeking a $4 million contract from a German manufacturer for an industrial steel wire project.

Marlin’s CEO, Drew Login to read more

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