Spend Matters Friday Latte

PMIs are out for the Eurozone.
Core infection and eurozone PMIs -- Eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers indices are out and it does not look pretty. The final Markit Eurozone manufacturing PMI hit a 34-month low of 45.9 in April, below the flash estimate of 46, as job losses accelerated to their fastest rate in over two years. Significantly, manufacturing weakness was no longer confined to the periphery. German PMI fell to a 33-month low, conditions deteriorated sharply again in France and the Netherlands also contracted at a faster rate. (When are those elections again?)

"May the Fourth be with you."
May the Fourth be with you: Hold on to your lightsabers, it's Star Wars Day! -- If the Force isn't strong with those offerings, perhaps it will be with Amazon.com, Williams-Sonoma, Barnes & Noble, Fathead, Lego, DK Canada, Pottery Barn Kids and Dark Horse comics -- all of which are slated to either host events or offer "May the Fourth" deals. Do you have some spare Legos around? Make a mini Darth Vader (or any Star Wars object), photograph it and send the picture to Lego. The company aims to create "the World Wide Web's largest Lego Star Wars virtual mosaic image," which they plan to unveil on May 5. It should be noted that the bar is high for crowdsourced, Star Wars-related content. By that I mean, if you're standing on Earth, it's somewhere near that star scientists observed being consumed by a blackhole. If you think I'm being hyperbolic, watch the full, two-hour crowdsourced re-creation of "Episode IV: A New Hope." I'll wait.

China begins to outsource HR.
Rising Cost of Doing Business In China Will Fuel Growth In Outsourcing Of HR Work -- A long-term labor shortage and rise in the cost of doing business in China will lead more companies to outsource human resources-related work, the head of one of the country's largest HR management outsourcing firms said today at a meeting of the Shanghai Foreign Correspondents Club. The percentage of companies that outsource part of their HR work has increased from 5% of the total number of businesses in China in 2004 to 12% this year, said Wayne Wang, the chairman of Shanghai-based CDP Group Ltd. The figure will likely rise to as much as 25% within three years, putting China on par with Australia, he predicted.

This is the hospital where I was born!
Valley Medical is recognized for supply-chain efficiencies -- International healthcare technology and services company Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX) has awarded Valley Medical Center the GHXcellence Award for U.S. Provider of the Year: Small to Mid-size Facility. VMC earned the award for leveraging opportunities in the supply chain to cut costs, reduce waste and improve business performance while improving patient care, according to a press release. GHXellence Awards are based on specific metrics related to automating supply chain processes and creating efficiencies.

- Sheena Moore

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