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Indicators show pace of growth expected to rise

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A gauge of future economic activity rose at solid pace in October, offering hope that the economy may see stronger growth in coming months. The Conference Board reported Friday that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.9 percent last month, significantly faster than the revised 0.1 percent rise in September and the 0.3 percent increase in August. The economy, after growing at an anemic pace of just 0.9 percent in the first six months of the year, grew at a 2.5 percent rate in the July-September quarter. Some analysts are looking for even stronger growth in the current October-December quarter. But even the most optimistic forecasters are not predicting growth will rebound to levels that would make a significant dent in the unemployment rate, which has been stuck around 9 percent for the past two years.
Marysville tanning store still operating
Quil Ceda Tanning, a longtime retail and wholesale leather business in Marysville, is continuing to operate. Another business that had received hides there for tanning is no longer working at that location, 3922 88th St. NE. But the retail business there continues to sell leather goods, provide custom work and do repairs, Lacey Hendrix said.
McDonald's drops supplier over video
McDonald's has dropped a Minnesota-based egg supplier after an animal rights group released an undercover video of operations at the egg producer's farms in three states. The video by Mercy for Animals shows what it calls animal cruelty including a worker swinging a bird around by its feet. McDonald's Corp. said Friday the behavior shown on the video is "disturbing and completely unacceptable." The fast food chain says it demands humane treatment of animals by suppliers. The move also follows a warning letter to Sparboe Farms this week from the Food and Drug Administration that said inspectors found serious food safety violations at five Sparboe facilities. A representative of Minnesota-based Sparboe Companies LLC didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
NLRB rushes to make it easier to join unions
The National Labor Relations Board is rushing to approve new rules before the end of the year that would make it easier for unions to organize new members. The board plans to take a public vote on Nov. 30, where its Democratic majority is expected to approve a plan that would dramatically shorten the time frame for union elections. Business groups have denounced the move, saying the new rules would allow ambush elections that don't give companies enough time to counter organizing drives. The board is moving quickly because it is losing one of its three members at the end of the year. The remaining two members could not legally issue decisions or make rules. Republicans have been preventing President Barack Obama from filling the post with a recess appointment.
From Herald news services
Story tags » Collective BargainingUnions



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