- Published on Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00
By A Web design Company
Rare earths output curbs
BEIJING — China’s government has further tightened curbs on production of rare earths used in mobile phones and other high-tech products. Regulations issued this week say mines and smelting companies must meet minimum output levels to continue operating. The state newspaper China Daily said Wednesday that might result in 20 percent of the country’s production capacity to be shut down. China has about 30 percent of the world’s rare earths deposits but accounts for more than 90 percent of production.
US worker productivity up
WASHINGTON — US companies got slightly more out of their workers this spring after scaling back on hiring. The modest 1.6 percent annualized gain in productivity from April to June signals employers may need to hire more if demand picks up. The labor department said Wednesday the rise followed a 0.5 percent decline in the January-March quarter, less than first estimated. The total amount of time US workers spent on the job rose only 0.4 percent, down from 3.2 percent in the first quarter.
Strong Nestle profit
GENEVA — Swiss food and drinks giant Nestle SA posted an 8.9 percent rise in first-half profits Thursday, but predicted that the remainder of 2012 will be challenging and warned of a slowdown in its key US market. Helped by strong demand from emerging markets, price rises and cost-cutting, the world’s biggest food and beverage maker said net profit rose to 5.120 billion Swiss francs ($5.27 billion) in the January to June period, from 4.703 billion francs in the first half of 2011. Sales rose 7.5 percent to 44.1 billion Swiss francs from last year’s 41 billion francs. – AP