Double whammy hits U.S. economy

first_imgFormer Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who sent financial markets into a tailspin back in February with his worries about a recession, used the “R” word again on Friday, but this time emphasized the likelihood that a downturn can be avoided. “The odds are 2-to-1 that we won’t have a recession,” Greenspan said in a speech delivered by satellite to a business group in Singapore, according to a participant. Wall Street was not jolted by Greenspan’s latest comments as investors took comfort from the price report because it showed little price pressure outside the areas of energy and food. The Dow Jones industrial average soared 111.09 points on Friday, its biggest point rise so far this month, to end the week at 13,326.22. The rebound gained back most of the nearly 150 points the Dow had lost on Thursday. The so-called core rate of inflation, which excludes food and energy, was unchanged in April, better than the 0.2 percent rise analysts had expected. The Federal Reserve this week kept interest rates where they have been since last June, with officials saying they remained more worried about the threats from inflation than the weakening economy. Some analysts said the Fed could be making a mistake by keeping rates too high for too long especially if consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of total economic activity, weakens further. “Consumers are being pressured by surging energy and food costs and they don’t have that much left over to spend on lots of other things,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. The weak government report on retail sales came a day after a survey of the nation’s biggest retailers, who reported disappointing sales results in April. Analysts said some of the problems reflected the fact that Easter came early this year, pulling sales into March that would normally have occurred in April.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It’s highway robbery,” said Andi Powell, 33. She said she and her boyfriend are spending about $90 per week in gas for their commute to Washington from Baltimore. “I just started to do a lot more home entertaining, just trying to find ways to make up the difference” in the higher gas costs. Zenobia Jackson, 32, of College Park, Md., said she is spending $60 to $80 per week for gas to drive to her computer job in Virginia. “There’s not much I can do,” she said. Growth in the overall economy slowed to a lackluster 1.3 percent rate in the first three months of this year, the slowest pace in four years. Analysts were looking for that figure to be revised even lower based on a string of weaker-than- expected economic reports, raising the odds that some unexpected jolt could turn weak growth into an outright downturn. “The higher gasoline prices combined with a weakening housing market and a softer job market are weighing on consumers,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. The RBC Cash Index of consumer confidence posted a reading of 87.1 in early May, little changed from April’s figure of 85.4, which had been a six-month low, as consumers continued to be anxious about economic prospects given rising energy prices and the slumping housing market. WASHINGTON – Consumers, battered by surging gasoline prices, cut back spending for clothes, cars and other items in April, raising worries about the already weak economy. Retail sales fell 0.2 percent in April, the first decline in seven months, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Meanwhile, the Labor Department said that wholesale prices surged by 0.7 percent, led by a third consecutive big rise in gasoline prices. The weak retail spending and the big rise in gasoline prices were seen as delivering a double whammy to the economy. The worry is that if gasoline prices spike further and the troubles in housing deepen, then consumers could significantly trim spending and the country could move toward a recession. In Washington, a city with some of the longest commuting times in the country, consumers were definitely feeling the pinch of the higher gasoline prices. last_img read more

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CONFIRMED: Tottenham announce signing of Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama

first_img Victor Wanyama has signed a five-year deal with Spurs 1 Tottenham have completed the signing of Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama.The 24-year-old has agreed to join the north London outfit until 2021 after successfully completing a medical, and becomes their first signing of the summer.Wanyama is the first Southampton player to be reunited with the club’s former manager Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane.Press Association Sport understands Tottenham will pay around £9million up front for Wanyama, but the deal could reach almost £12m if additional clauses are met.Spurs first expressed an interest in Wanyama last summer but Saints held firm and were rewarded, as Wanyama played a key role in leading the team to a sixth-placed finish.The Kenyan, who had just one year to run on his contract at St Mary’s, made 85 league appearances for the south-coast club, scoring four goals.Pochettino has been eager to boost his options in midfield with Tottenham hoping to balance Champions League football with another title challenge next season.The Argentinian is also eager to bring an extra forward to provide cover for Harry Kane but Spurs are yet to follow up talks with AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen.Janssen visited Tottenham’s training ground two weeks ago and spoke to the club about his future but Tottenham have not submitted an official bid.The Dutch striker is currently on holiday in Barcelona and has also held talks with German club Wolfsburg, although a move to Spurs remains the 22-year-old’s preferred choice.last_img read more

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League games rescheduled due to CAF engagements

first_imgKAMPALA – Several League games have been rescheduled due to the upcoming National teams’ engagements and KCCA FC and Vipers having to feature in the preliminary rounds of the CAF Confederations Cup and Champions League respectively.With some clubs have three or more players in either the Uganda Cranes or Kobs, three of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League games that were supposed to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday next week have been moved to a later day.This was confirmed through a statement released by the StarTimes Uganda Premier League Secretariat to the Media on Thursday evening.“Uganda Cranes will be playing an International Friendly match against Nigeria in Nigeria on Tuesday 20th November 2018 and the U-23 National Team will be playing the AFCONQualifiers return leg match on Tuesday 20th November 2018 in South Sudan, read the statement.“Accordingly, the fixtures for all Clubs that have three or more players on national duty have been rescheduled as indicated below and in accordance with article 19 (26) of FUFA Competitions Rules (If a club has three (3) or more players in the national team, the fixtures involving such a club may be called off three(3) days before and three(3) days after the national team engagement if it is to be played in Uganda and may be called off three(3) days before departure and three(3) days after return from an engagement outside Uganda).-Match #57 URA FC Vs Police FC has been rescheduled to Saturday 24th November 2018, Mandela National Stadium-Namboole 4:00pm.-Match #61 KCCA FC Vs Nyamityobora FC has been moved from Tuesday 20th November 2018 to Sunday 25th November 2018, StarTimes Stadium-Lugogo 4:00 pm.-Match #63 Vipers SC Vs Paidha Black Angles SC has been moved from Wednesday 21st November 2018 to Friday 23rd November 2018, St. Mary’s Stadium- Kitende 4:00pm.“Relatedly, CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup Fixtures were released on 9th November 2018 and they involve Vipers FC (27th-28th Nov & 4th-5th Dec 2018) and KCCA FC (14th-16th Dec 2018).“Accordingly, we have adjusted their SUPL Fixtures as below;-M#65 BUL FC Vs Vipers SC that was to be played on Friday 30th November 2018 has been postponed (A new date to be communicated later).-M# 73 Vipers SC Vs Police FC has been moved from Wednesday 5th December 2018 to Sunday 9th December 2018.-M#96 KCCA FC Vs Paidha Black Angels SC that was to be played on Saturday 15th December 2018 has been postponed (A new date to be communicated later).The StarTimes Uganda Premier League resumes on Tuesday next week with Onduparaka FC hosting Ndejje University at the Green Light Stadium in Arua.Mbarara City are currently top of the standings with 16 points accumulated from their first 8 games. Bright Stars, KCCA FC and Vipers follow in that order with all of them having 15 points.Comments Tags: StarTimes Uganda Premier Leaguelast_img read more

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Donegal man among first in Ireland to earn special purpose marts award

first_imgA career in livestock auctioneering beckons for Lifford man Gary Smyth, who is one of the first in Ireland to receive the new Green Cert ‘Top-up’ award.Gary was among the first 10 new graduates nationally who have qualified from a special new course developed by the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) in partnership with ICOS National Marts and the Institute of Technology Tallaght.The ‘Special Purpose Award’ presents greater opportunities for graduates in the world of livestock marts auctioneering. Michael Spellman, Chairman of ICOS National Marts Committee said, “We’re very pleased to see this new educational award come into effect. It is specific to the livestock marts sector and creates excellent career opportunities for younger people entering our industry as well as supporting management succession within co-operative livestock auctioneering.“I congratulate Gary Smyth and each of the new graduates. We are grateful to the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers and IT Tallaght for the work they have done in bringing the course into being and to the Regulator for their support and encouragement of the qualification.”Maeve Hogan, Director Property Services Regulatory Authority with Gary Smyth (Lifford, Co Donegal); Ella Dunphy (Senior Vice-President, IPAV); Michael Spellman, Chairman, ICOS National Marts Committee.Graduates who have already successfully completed the Teagasc Level 6 Green Cert and who are working for an ICOS Mart can apply for the new ‘Special Purpose Award’. This is an additional educational qualification through which the graduates can apply for an auctioneer’s Category ‘A’ licence from the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PRSA). To qualify for the award, the graduates must first undertake a professional practice module which is run by IPAV and IT Tallaght including practical work and an exam.The establishment of this new ‘top-up’ course and qualification by IPAV and IT Tallaght follows discussions in recent years between ICOS and the PSRA to identify how people interested in livestock marts auctioneering and who are already working in the sector could progress their career based on appropriate qualifications. The Chief Executive of the Property Services Regulatory Authority, Maeve Hogan attended the presentation of the first awards in Roscommon.The PSRA regulates the property auctioneering sector and has a number of significant regulatory responsibilities for the livestock marts industry.  The PSRA set out the level of qualification that is required through this route and IPAV partnered with IT Tallaght and ICOS to develop the Special Purpose Award which is now recognised by the Authority for licensing purposes.Donegal man among first in Ireland to earn special purpose marts award was last modified: December 12th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:gary smythGreen Cert Top-up awardICOS National Marts Committeelast_img read more

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Ad with a twist urges global business “invest in South Africa”

first_imgEach image, at first glance, reminds the viewer of sophisticated places and events in Europe and America, but which then turn out to be South African.It aims to challenge perceptions and put vibrant business images into the minds of international decision makers – so that they seriously consider South Africa as a trade, tourism and investment destination.View the ad:Read media releaselast_img

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‘Bike City’ benefits KwaZulu-Natal

first_img17 July 2013With thousands of mountain bike enthusiasts expected to converge on Pietermaritzburg’s Cascades MTB Park in a month’s time for the UCI MTB Masters World Championships and UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships, KwaZulu-Natal is set to benefit once more from a major cycling event.The province has completed detailed studies that show that cycling events have brought more than a R1-billion worth of value and economic spend to the region.With the province of KwaZulu-Natal having invested R24-million into hosting major international cycling events over the past three years, the latest research shows that this has triggered an economic injection of R79-million into the regional economy, while at the same time providing international marketing exposure for the city valued conservatively at R1.68-billion, exclusively from the global TV coverage of the events.Long term commitmentThis substantial return on investment has resulted in the province making a long term commitment to sustaining its support for hosting international cycling events and reinforcing Pietermaritzburg’s positioning as Africa’s “Bike City”.“We are passionate about our international destination marketing, and the positioning of Pietermaritzburg as the continent’s ‘Bike City’ is now well established,” Clive Coetzee, the general manager of infrastructure management and economic services at the KwaZulu-Natal provincial treasury, said this week.“For the two weeks of the Masters and Elite World Champs, almost every hotel and B&B in the city is fully booked out, and the visitors to the event will spend significantly on local products and services. Huge sums of money are generated through the hosting of these events,” Coetzee said.‘Something really good’“We got involved almost by default,” said Coetzee. “When the uMsundusi municipality went into financial difficulty, it landed up on my desk. After evaluating it from a lot of different angles we realised that we have something really good going on here.“At that stage there was serious talk about Durban putting in a serious bid for the Olympics, which also became a factor in the early stages,” Coetzee added.“It is clear that the UCI [International Cycling Federation] are very happy with us and the way we have hosted these events, because they are coming back to us asking us to host more. That’s very encouraging and it positions us in the top five cycling centres in the world.”“If we do decide to commit to hosting the Olympics, then this is one box that we have ticked.”Continental cycling hubPietermaritzburg’s status as a “Bike City” positions the city as one of three continental cycling hubs, along with Copenhagen for Europe and Melbourne for Australasia.“As we increased our exposure and we saw the benefits, it became easier to secure the funding to the point where these cycling events are now a base item in our budgets, which means that we can commit to supporting these events for the next five to seven years,” Coetzee said.“It is important for us that these big international events have some sort of spill- over effect,” he continued. “We want kids to get involved in cycling and staying active, and people of this region to use the fantastic facilities that are now available to them.Healthy outdoor lifestyle“Already if you go to these facilities on the weekends you can see the number of families that are out there riding. It’s creating a culture of fitness and a healthy outdoor lifestyle, which, while it is difficult to quantify, it is very important to us.”Pietermaritzburg now has an international standard BMX track, a legacy of hosting a round of the UCI BMX Supercross in 2011, as well as the multi-functional mountain bike facilities available at the Cascades MTB Park.Coetzee confirmed that the success of positioning Pietermaritzburg as a “Bike City” has led to a sweeping plan to position other sporting codes with cities and towns in the province, and to start developing facilities and ultimately trying to attract top level events to those centres.“Maritzburg and cycling has been a massive success, so we now don’t need to try and sell the potential impact of this strategy,” Coetzee said. “We have brilliant support from Cycling South Africa and the UCI, and we have an experienced pool of top class organisers.Future plans“We would like to work towards a stage where we have a full calendar of events spread spatially around KwaZulu-Natal that builds up to the hosting of various international championships, especially those codes that are Olympic sports.”He added: “I don’t think people understand just how big this World Championships is going to be for Pietermaritzburg. The city will be flooded with foreigners – riders, their families and lots of media – and I hope that the people come in their tens of thousands to support it.“There is acknowledged recognition globally that cities that successfully host top sporting events are premium cities. That gets people excited and proud of being part of KwaZulu-Natal and being South African, and hopefully it will get them outdoors and active as well.“The MTB World Champs will be a very important case study for us, and one that we hope to replicate in other regions of the province.”The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 26 August to 1 September 2013, and will be preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships from 21 to 25 August.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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As you go north in Ohio, things go south

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Ty HigginsFor the past two weeks, I have been contacted about the woes that farmers are facing in northern Ohio. Cold and wet conditions well into May have pushed back planting progress in a part of the state that is becoming use to this type of pressure.“We are just about a week later than last year,” said Wood County farmer Kris Swartz on his Cab Cam video earlier this week. “We have seen this type of spring so much over the past 4 years that I think this is becoming our new norm.”Swartz has made some nice progress since getting started with his planting season late last week. He is finished with corn and about halfway through with the soybeans. But as you drive around his area it is easy to see that many producers have not been so fortunate.As I made my way to Swartz’ farm on May 30th, I decided to do a mini crop tour, of sorts, so I stopped in each county on the way up Route 23 and I-75 to compare just how things deteriorated the further north I headed.My first stop was in my home county, Delaware. We have had just about normal conditions in this part of the state and farmers are almost done planting. Rains have been heavy at times, but all in all pretty good timing-wise.This field was twin row corn and coming along nicely, with even stands and some moisture if you dig a little.Twin row corn in Delaware CountyI was just in Marion County a week before and I was told this might just be the garden part of Ohio. This field was the most mature field I saw all day and had already been sidedressed.Marion County had this nice stand that has already been sidedressedWyandot County has some spots that have had more rains than others. I found a field of corn that was well on its way and right across the road was a field that had just been planted. This could be sign of a bigger farmer needing to get in early and one that was alright with waiting a bit.Corn coming along nicely on one side of the road in Wyandot CountyA newly planted corn field in Wyandot County on the other side of the roadHancock County was right with Delaware County in progress and growth in these fields.Young soybeans in Hancock CountyThen I hit Wood County and the view changed dramatically, especially after I crossed Route 6. Nothing…absolutely nothing has been done to the majority of these fields yet. The brown ground was offset every so often by a sharp green wheat field, but that contrast made what is not being done in northern Ohio even more evident.The ground that has been worked has been sitting for weeks just waiting on the planter and the ground that hasn’t been touched yet will need more than the sprayer to get them right. Ground being worked in Wood County Weedy fields in Wood County Unworked fields in Wood County“Route 6 has been the cut off line all year long,” Swartz said. “Those south of that line have had better weather and they have been warmer the whole time. The cool wet weather has just killed us to the south of that line.”As most farmers in Ohio have crossed the finish line for the 2018 planting season, many farmers in northern parts of Ohio will be in an entirely different race over the coming days; a race against the crop insurance dates (June 5th for corn and June 20th for soybeans).Despite the late start just a year ago, farmers in this region had very little to complain about when a bountiful harvest followed. Here’s to hoping history repeats itself for them this year.last_img read more

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How to Turn Your Buyers Into Brand Believers

first_imgBrad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Simple Branding Is Key for Complex Tech, Says R… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts Buyers always have the last say. Even when faced with limited choices, many would rather opt out than choose a brand they distrust. To successfully break through barriers of consumer hesitation and skepticism to achieve customer loyalty, companies must incorporate true value into their product and service offerings. Otherwise, shoppers won’t show an ounce of genuine loyalty.The Value of LoyaltyBig value doesn’t mean bargain prices. Actually, the more value you offer customers, the more money they might be willing to spend on your products and services. Plenty of relatively expensive or high-end brands have raving fans who could easily save dollars on competing items. However, these fans feel connected to their preferred companies and vote with their wallets. Rosetta Consulting statistics indicate that steadfast shoppers are five times more likely to buy from favored brands compared to less engaged buyers. Plus, they shell out 60 percent more each time they make a purchase.Businesses get not just a financial lift, but also a marketing boost, when they achieve this type of emotional response. It transcends a detached purchasing arrangement. According to a national survey from commerce marketing cloud Yotpo, more than half of brand believers will join loyalty programs. Sixty percent will talk positively about their favorite companies. In other words, they become an extension of the sales team and smooth the way for future transactions.Make no mistake: These aren’t directly compensated advocates, a la social media influencers or paid-to-promote celebs. Yet they demand a high degree of value as compensation for their ongoing zeal.If your company could use a boost from superfans, take these steps to give customers a reason to cheer.1. Mirror target customers’ beliefs.Buyers respond more reliably and earnestly when they feel a brand aligns with their beliefs. Take the beauty industry, for example. Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier and one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40, used her experience in fashion and wellness to create a line of products focused on minimalism and natural beauty rather than glam. Despite early naysayers, she forged ahead with her plan to prove that beauty is a “conduit for connection.” She built a business now worth nearly $400 million.Writer Victoria Sands explains why companies like Glossier drive intense fanaticism and feverish loyalty: “These brands identify as a safe port in an otherwise unfriendly storm of consumerism.” Likewise, your company’s messaging and purpose must echo the values of your top buyers before you can count on blind promotion.2. Give the above-and-beyond value you hope to get.When you make a sale, you shouldn’t simply swap a product or service for currency. Instead, the exchange should always include a balanced value trade. Your customers are giving you the value of their disposable income and (hopefully) voices of approval, and you’re giving them value unique to your brand.How do you know if this value interchange is happening? Shelley Washburn, president of GSM, an automotive marketing company, likes to provide supporters with a reason to stand behind her brand. “Businesses need to be sure to give things to their casual supporters — whether it’s content, consultation, or to listen to what their needs are — in order to expect casual supporters to turn into brand ambassadors,” she says. For example, GSM recognizes its clients by promoting them on its blog, offering amplified exposure to those companies. Consider additional ways your brand can offer value, such as through educating your followers through content or contributing to charitable causes your customers support.3. Mobilize advocates to action with perks.Maybe you’ve noticed organic ambassadors popping up on social media. Rather than pat yourself on the back for generating brand-consumer kinship, go a step further and request a little link and word-of-mouth love. After all, video company One Productions estimates that traditional advertising leaves 33 percent of consumers unmoved, whereas Nielsen’s data has shown that 83 percent of buyers trust plugs that come from family and friends.Rather than rely on luck, formalize a system that incentivizes and rewards loyalty. Looking for an example? Think about Harry’s pre-launch email address-gathering campaign. Using social media, razor brand Harry’s invited people to sign up for information. The more friends someone signed up, the more free stuff the advocate received. And the best part: Harry’s drove excitement and loyalty before its razors ever touched a dollop of shaving cream.Sit down this week with team members to ask the tough questions: Does our brand offer value beyond the suggested retail price? If not, how can we improve our relationships with customers? Honest answers will help you figure out how to win the followers you need to achieve your most far-reaching goals. Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Tags:#branding#buyer relationship#company branding#customer loyalty#customer relationship#marketing#retail#value proposition How to Make the Most of Your Software Developer… What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star…last_img read more

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NAB 2014: The Foundry Announces Nuke Studio

first_imgThe Foundry just announced Nuke Studio at NAB 2014 – editing and visual effects in a single app.If you haven’t been able to keep up with all the news coming out of NAB 2014 than you are in good company. With dozens of new cameras and products being announced it’s hard to sort between the important announcements and the non-important. Well, we definitely have an important announcement to report! The software creators at the Foundry have just announced Nuke Studio, an all-in-one application specially designed for quick turn around projects that require VFX in a node based environment.Unlike other VFX software such as Adobe After Effects, Nuke Studio will allow users to edit, color, add VFX and master their videos all in one program. Nuke Studio gives users the ability to render in the background, giving editors the ability to edit and composite video while they are currently exporting. This feature will save editors time, and subsequently a lot of money too. Don’t take our word for it check out this unveiling video from this morning at NAB:Pricing and AvailabilityPricing has not been announced for Nuke Studio yet nor have we heard any credible rumors. We will definitely convey this information as soon as we get it. The Foundry stated that Nuke Studio should be available in late 2014 but that is as specific the information gets. If you want to register to be a beta tester or get up-to-date information you can “register your interest” on the Foundry’s website.What do you think of Nuke Studio? Will it be a serious competitor for Adobe? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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