Economic Slowdown Widespread

INDICATOR: January Industrial Production and Import/Export Prices

KEY DATA: IP: -0.3%; Manufacturing: -0.8%/Imports: +0.1%; Nonfuel: +0.3%; Exports: +0.2%; Farm: -0.5%

IN A NUTSHELL: “The current economic slowdown, that hopefully can be blamed on the weather, is widespread.”

WHAT IT MEANS: January can be a cruel month and this year it is especially so. Job gains were mediocre, unemployment claims are above where we would like to see them, retail sales were pathetic and not surprisingly, manufacturers reacted by cutting back production sharply. Industrial production was off moderately in January but only because utilities had to produce massive amounts to heat our homes, offices and plants. Manufacturing output tanked as fifteen of the nineteen industry groups posted declines.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/economics_in_a_nutshell/Economic-slowdown-widespread.html#BofjoT0tjMWvuhFk.99

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Pennsylvania Terminates $170 Million Project With IBM Over Failure To Deliver Computer System It Promised

After seeing a technology project fall $60 million over budget and 42 months behind, state Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway has decided it’s time to pull the plug on a contract to modernize the state’s unemployment compensation computer system.

This decision announced at a news conference on Wednesday followed a $800,000 study by Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute that found the problems with the IBM Corp.-developed system to be unsolvable.

Spending any more money on trying to make the system, originally slated to cost $106.9 million, would have been a waste, Hearthway said.

The state now estimates the cost of the project has grown to $170 million but some payments have been withheld, a department official said.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/07/pa_terminates_contract_with_ib.html#incart_m-rpt-2