Survey shows China manufacturing expanding

–(– 01/04/2010 – Economy industry news provided by Financial News USA. An index of China’s manufacturing rose in December, expanding at its fastest rate in 20 months amid heavy government economic stimulus, an industry group reported Friday.

The state-sanctioned China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its monthly purchasing managers index, or PMI, rose to 56.6 on a 100-point scale, compared with 55.2 in November. Numbers above 50 show manufacturing activity expanding.

It was the biggest month-to-month expansion since last March, when the PMI rose to 52.4 from 49 in the previous month.

The rising index “shows the situation of China’s economy is stable and the recovery has been further consolidated,” a government economist, Zhang Liqun, said in a statement issued by the federation.

Beijing’s 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus program has helped boost growth by pumping money into the economy through spending on public works projects. [Read the full article]

Restaurant chains and beef processors defended their products’ safety Thursday after a report that an ammonia treatment thought to kill harmful germs in meat isn’t as effective as the industry and regulators believed.

The New York Times reported Thursday, citing government and industry records, that E. coli and salmonella were found dozens of times in testing for the federal school lunch program on ammonia-treated beef from Beef Products Inc. The meat was not served.

A spokesman for Beef Products, based in Dakota Dunes, S.D., said samples mentioned in the report showed traces of E. coli in 0.06 percent of the company’s production, while USDA tests found E. coli in 1.03 percent of other beef samples.

“We intend to continue as a leader in food safety efforts,” spokesman Richard Jochum said in an e-mail. He said the company’s proprietary process that treats beef trimmings with ammonia to kill bacteria is just one part of its safety and testing regimen. [Read the full article]

Internet search giant Google is based in Silicon Valley, yet it runs its community affairs operation out of a former bread factory in an old New England railroad town, hard by the confluence of the White and Connecticut rivers.

Matt Dunne, 40, the man in charge of Google’s efforts to burnish its image in the places where it has offices, keeps up with corporate headquarters through a broadband link from two video screens in the bakery’s former walk-in cooler.

Dunne’s use of that technology — and the broadband Internet connection supporting it — is an example of what he touts as the key to Vermont’s economic future as he campaigns for the 2010 Democratic nomination for governor.

“We need to, and I believe have an opportunity to, go from one of the lowest broadband penetration states in the country to the first state that brings fiber-optic high-speed Internet to every home in the state,” Dunne said in an interview. [Read the full article]

Grenada’s prime minister expects the Caribbean island’s economy to shrink 1.8 percent in 2010 before returning to growth in 2011.

The gross domestic product fell 7.7 percent in 2009 due largely to declines in construction and tourism.

Prime Minister Tillman Thomas said in a New Year’s message broadcast Friday that an economic recovery program nevertheless has helped the island to “restore international financial credibility.” He said the government now has access to previously unavailable funds from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Union.

He urged islanders to show more self-sufficiency and productivity over the year ahead as the nation tries to recover. About Financial News USA

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