c.2013 New York Times News Service
c.2013 New York Times News Service
EXHAUSTED SHOPPERS HEAD HOME, REPLACED BY THE NEXT WAVE
While some malls across the country were busy during the traditional post-holiday shopping Friday, the crowds at others seemed sparse to some regular customers, who compared them to a regular weekend’s atmosphere. It’s possible that the earlier Thanksgiving hours and the increase in online shopping — with so many e-tailers offering competitive deals — had lessened the desire to peruse racks of clothes inside some physical stores. Still, customers sensed there were deals to be had on both days, and parking lots at some malls were jammed again Friday.
FOR TAIWAN, A TURNAROUND IN TRASH
In Taiwan, a cavernous warehouse under construction represents the new priorities for an island where the streets were once littered with piles of discarded electronics and other refuse. It is the latest expansion effort in a vast industrial park that recycles electronics, glass, plastics, paper and just about anything than can be reused or mined for materials. Trash is valuable in Taiwan, and the commercial recycling efforts, along with a government fund and increased consumer awareness, have helped clean up the country.
TEPID DATA FROM EUROZONE LEAVE OPEN DEBATE ON PRICE DOWNDRAFT
The eurozone reached another milestone in its stumbling recovery Friday when the official unemployment rate fell for the first time since 2011. But a separate report showed a slight rise in inflation, not enough to quell fears that the 17 nations that rely on the euro were at risk of being sucked into a potentially ruinous downward price spiral. Unemployment in the 17 eurozone countries dropped to 12.1 percent in October, from 12.2 percent the previous month, according to official figures. But estimated inflation in the eurozone rose to 0.9 percent in November from a year earlier, according to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office.
HEAD OF CONSUMER SAFETY AGENCY IS STEPPING DOWN AFTER FOUR YEARS
When Inez M. Tenenbaum took over the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2009, she found an agency in turmoil and uncertain of its mission to ensure that tens of thousands of products on U.S. store shelves did not present a danger to buyers. By the end of her four-year term, which came to a close Friday, she can say that she has presided over a significant increase of the agency’s powers. “I’ve gotten my work done; it’s time to move on,” said Tenenbaum, 62, who will take a job with the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Columbia, S.C.
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING PUTS TOYS TO THE TEST
For 113 years, Good Housekeeping has been testing and awarding its seal of approval to all kinds of consumer products, from skin creams to dishwashers. For the past six years, that testing has expanded to include toys. The magazine spends all year finding and reviewing toys. Then in the December issue, it bestows awards on about two dozen toys and board games that shoppers can buy just in time for the holidays. The process is integral to Good Housekeeping’s overall business strategy. Like most magazines, Good Housekeeping, part of Hearst Magazines, has been under more pressure than ever to find new sources of revenue.
TAKEDA HIRES GLAXO EXECUTIVE AS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Japan’s largest drugmaker, Takeda Pharmaceutical, announced Friday that it had hired a GlaxoSmithKline executive to be its next chief operating officer. The move is the latest in a spate of outside hires by Japanese corporations seeking to compete on a global scale, although the strategy to employ top foreign talent has not always ended well. Takeda, which is based in Tokyo, has been eager to compete in the top echelon of global drugmakers. The company said in a statement that Christophe Weber, president of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine arm, was scheduled to join Takeda as chief operating officer in April.
MODERATE RECOVERY IS FORECAST FOR INDIA
India’s economy is showing signs of a gradual recovery as its gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 4.8 percent in the three months that ended in September, according to government figures released Friday. The growth surpassed the expectations of Reuters analysts, who projected a 4.6 percent rate, and was faster than the 4.4 percent pace seen in the previous quarter, which marked the slowest growth in four years. The pickup in the September quarter was driven primarily by a good monsoon, which helped the agriculture sector expand at a 4.6 percent annual rate.