The Chamber hosted its second event in an informational series that tackles the technological challenges and opportunities within the biofuels industry. Chamber experts, government officials, and industry representatives discussed ways to improve the existing transportation system and infrastructure investments needed to meet increasing levels of biofuels production.
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October 2, 2007—The ‘final' estimate by the BEA indicates that the GDP grew 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. Personal income rose 0.3% in August while consumption grew 0.6%. The housing market is still in bad shape, as new home sales and existing home sales decreased 8.3% and 4.3%, respectively. Last, new orders for durable goods fell 4.9% in August.
Gross Domestic Product
Thirty-five small and medium companies from 10 states will join the U.S. Chamber and TradeRoots in Washington, D.C., today, October 2 to express their support for the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. Events include meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and members of Congress. With a vote on the Peru agreement expected in early October, this fly-in will play a critical role in demonstrating the importance of exports and trade to American business.
The subprime mortgage crisis caused a temporary paralysis in the credit markets and led some to speculate that the economy would soon slide into recession. How did this crisis evolve, how serious is it, and what does it tell us about the state of our capital markets?
What to Look for, What to Spend
By Ricardo Harvin
E-mail questions for Tech Tools to email@example.com.
The first of two articles.
The end of the year is a good time to evaluate your technology needs for the upcoming year and to decide what, if anything, you need to include in your technology budget (you do have one, don't you?). This month I'm covering some key items to consider when evaluating your computers and printers. Next month I'll discuss adding the right peripherals to boost productivity.
Lawmakers Pass Contracting Reform Bill
The U.S. Chamber this week called on the House and Senate to pass H.R. 743 and S. 156, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. The bills would permanently extend the moratorium on the creation of new, multiple, or discriminatory taxes that are unique to the Internet, such as a "bit tax" on information moving over the Internet. The current moratorium is set to expire on November 1. These two bills, which are currently in committees, would make the moratorium permanent.
September 25, 2007—For the first time in four years the FOMC cut the funds rate, reducing it to 4.75%. On the inflation front, the consumer price index fell 0.1% in August while the producer price index posted a 1.4% decline. Concurrently, the housing market remains weak, as housing starts fell 2.6% to 1.331 million units. Last, the index of leading economic indicators fell 0.6%.
Today (9/25), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched the Corporate Leadership Advisory Council (CLAC) in Washington D.C., with a full day of events at Chamber headquarters and on Capitol Hill. CLAC has been established to give mid-market businesses a strong voice before Congress, the administration, regulatory agencies, the courts, and the court of public opinion.
September 18, 2007—The trade deficit narrowed in July, falling $0.2 billion to $59.2 billion. Concurrently, consumer credit rose 3.7% (annualized rate) to $2.456 trillion. In August, retail sales increased 0.3% while industrial production grew 0.2%. Last, business inventories rose 0.5% in August while sales jumped 1.1%.
By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber's Institute for Competitive Workforce is holding its annual education and workforce summit in Washington D.C. this week, bringing together business leaders, education experts, and chamber of commerce professionals to help improve workforce competitiveness and scholastic performance. The Summit is part of a national effort to promote effective and sustainable business and education/workforce partnerships.
John J. Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable, expressed business leaders' support for reauthorizing a strengthened No Child Left Behind Act and urged Congress to maintain the law's accountability measures to ensure that the nation meets the goal of all students being able to read and do math on grade level by 2014. Mr. Castellani testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor on behalf of the Business Coalition for Student Achievement (BCSA), a coalition that represents business leaders from every sector of the economy.
Shipbuilders Face Worker Shortage
Local shipbuilders are facing a shortage of skilled labor, despite adding jobs to the economy. More than 300 new jobs have been created since 2000, and total annual wages have jumped $19 million during that time, according to Maine Labor Department statistics. However, builders argue they need more help to attract skilled and motivated young workers.
Source: The Portland Press Herald
In July, we took a look at the latest 800-pound tax gorilla–the alternative minimum tax (AMT)–and how it is threatening to gain more weight by bingeing on middle-class taxpayers and consuming even more of their hard-earned money. Well Congress thinks it has the answer ' or a number of answers, depending on who you listen to. Hmmm ' let's take a look at some of these possible "solutions."
By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Public-Private Partnerships Are Essential
by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)
Protecting our critical infrastructure is vitally important to the nation's security. The private sector is an essential partner in protecting our nation from the threat of terrorism and natural disasters–and helping it restore necessary services in the aftermath of such events.
Expert Identifies Four Common Barriers
You own or run a company with a great product, a good marketing plan, and an enthusiastic sales team–and yet the sales are trickling in. Author and 30-year sales veteran Gerry Cullen identifies four of the most common and destructive sales barriers in The Coldest Call: Why Some Good Products Don't Sell.
The Pain Barrier
Bringing the Right People to the Job
Talk with almost any small business owner these days and before long they are lamenting the shortage of qualified workers–but not franchise owner Carol Trahan. She's surrounded by qualified workers.
Trahan's human resources company, a Spherion franchise, manages 1,500 contingency employees throughout northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. She has 15 employees in three offices in Johnson City and Bristol, Tennessee.