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Countywide economic group outlines plan

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The official debut of Economic Alliance Snohomish County drew 360 of the county's business leaders to the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour on Thursday. Alliance chief executive Troy McClelland explained the alliance's new business plan. It focuses on the leadership role in the Washington Aerospace Partnership, on increased training and educational opportunities, on prioritizing logistics and transportation infrastructures and on improving regional competitiveness. The alliance formed from the merger of the Everett Area and South Snohomish County chambers of commerce and the Snohomish County Economic Development Council.
Revenue Department closes Everett office
The Washington state Department of Revenue will permanently close its Everett field office at 5 p.m. Friday. The department will provide taxpayer assistance at its Bothell office beginning at 8 a.m., Aug. 30. The Bothell office, located at 19800 North Creek Parkway, Suite 101, previously has not been open to the general public but will have a customer service counter where taxpayers can file returns, make payments, and receive help on business tax issues. The agency is consolidating the two offices to reduce its operating costs. For more information, call 425-984-6400 or go to dor.wa.gov.
Federal deficit down a bit to $1.28 trillion
The federal budget deficit will hit $1.28 trillion this year, down slightly from the previous two years, with more savings to come over the next decade, according to projections released Wednesday. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says budget deficits will be reduced by a total of $3.3 trillion over the next decade, largely because of the deficit reduction package passed by Congress earlier this month. Nevertheless, the federal budget will be awash in red ink for years to come. Even with the savings, budget deficits will total nearly $3.5 trillion over the next decade -- more if Bush-era tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 are extended. The CBO doesn't foresee another recession, but the agency projects only modest economic growth over the next few years
Price of gold drops $104 an ounce, 5.6%
After months of setting record after record, the price of gold plunged $104, or 5.6 percent, Wednesday to finish at $1,757 per ounce. That was the biggest percentage drop in nearly 3˝ years and a blow to investors who thought the metal could go only one way -- up. "Gold was considered a safe haven for years because it wasn't popular, but now it's popular," said Cetin Ciner, a professor of finance at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. "You can't have a fad and a safe haven at the same time." The drop Wednesday came on news that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 4 percent in July, which was more than analysts had expected.
Herald staff and wire services

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