Driving the Day: 1/27/12

Jan 27, 2012

U.S. 4Q GDP Expands More Slowly Than Anticipated – FOX Business

U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.8% annual rate, according to the Commerce Department on Friday. This was the quickest pace since Q2 in 2010 and a major increase from the 1.8% rate of the prior three months. Despite this growth, the numbers were still below economist expectations for a 3.0% rate. Moody’s Analytics senior economist Ryan Sweet said, “The economy ended 2011 on a fairly positive note, but the composition of growth in the last quarter is not favorable for growth early this year.”

Debt ceiling increase allowed by Senate - POLITICO

The Senate voted Thursday to allow President Obama to increase the debt ceiling $1.2 trillion, enough money for the federal government to pay its bills through November 2012. The House voted 239-176 last week to not allow the latest debt request, but the Senate action killed the effort, allowing for the increase. Senate Republican leaders shared their frustration with raising the debt ceiling, saying Congress should be working to lower the debt, not have votes to increase it.

Three Ways Foreigners Could (Really) Boost the U.S. Economy – Fortune

President Obama recently launched a move to attract more tourists to the United States, leveraging middle class tourists' spending power to grow the U.S. economy. The Commerce Department reports foreign tourists generated $134 billion in 2010, and the White House estimates that if the U.S. owned more of the travel market, it could lead to more than 1 million jobs over the next decade. But these initiatives do little to improve U.S. competitiveness and misses foreigners' greater value to the United States - labor and brain power. 

Business Sector Is More Open for Business – Real Time Economic (WSJ)

U.S. companies are planning to spend more on big projects and are laying off fewer workers - positive signs for America's economic outlook. Economists say Q4 business spending on equipment grew after a 16 perent growth spurt in Q3. Rising demand from U.S. consumers and emerging markets is helping this growth, but if Washington produces more political uncertainty this year, it could encourage businesses to stop spending.

Ener1, Parent of U.S. Subsidized Battery Unit, Seeks Bankruptcy – Businessweek

Ener1 Inc., the company President Obama gave a $118 million U.S. Energy Department grant to make electric-car batteries, filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday after defaulting on a bond debt. Ener1’s bankruptcy follows the failure of at least two U.S. government-backed renewable energy companies, most notably solar panel maker Solyndra LLC.

In other news…

Next Social Media Wave: Small Businesses – Media Life Magazine

Obama Pushes Clean Energy Theme in Nevada, Colorado - CNN

Small Business Strategies: Year of the Dragon offers lessons – USA Today

2012: The Return of the Brics? – Financial Times

U.S. Manufacturing Already Has Record Profits and Is Doing Quite Well Without Any Government Help – CARPE DIEM

Buffett Rule’s Impact? White House Won’t Say – POLITICO

Is Your Business an Archetype or a Stereotype? – The Washington Post

'Tough Budget Choices': Pentagon Cuts Will Shrink Military, Reduce Ground Forces – The Hill

Office of Advocacy Releases Small Business Profiles for All 50 States – Market Watch

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