Friday Latte: US Growth Lags, Levi’s Goes Green, GE’s “Industrial Revolution,” LCD Screen Price Fix

"Payrolls last month expanded by 155,000 jobs."
U.S. Growth Still Sluggish: 155,000 New Jobs In Dec., Unemployment Higher At 7.8% -- The U.S. continued to grow at the same plodding pace in December. This eases some worries about the fiscal cliff, but shows that the economy continues to struggle to gain momentum. Unemployment, meanwhile, has been higher than originally thought since November.

Making efforts, at least?
Mr. Green Jeans: Levi's Detoxifies Its Supply Chain -- Back in early December, the environmental group Greenpeace released a pair of studies on the toxic pollution that accompanies the manufacturing of some of fashion's most popular companies. The reports, entitled "Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up" and "Toxic Threads: Under Wraps," found that clothes from major brands like Levi Strauss and Calvin Klein had high levels of phthalates--industrial chemicals that have been linked to development problems and cancer--and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), which are dangerous to aquatic animals.

""We're building more things, and the way we're building them is changing, as well."
GE's supply chain deals part of 'industrial revolution' -- "We shipped 3,200 engines in 2012, and this year we'll ship 3,600. Ten years ago it was maybe 2,400. We now have 25,000 commercial engines in service. By 2020 we'll have 40,000." Besides increased volume, there's also a second factor at play, Kennedy said – new manufacturing technologies.

Price fixin'.
China fines Samsung, LG and others over LCD prices -- Samsung, LG and four Taiwanese firms have been fined £35m by Chinese trade regulators for fixing the prices of LCD screens. China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said the six firms met regularly from 2001 to 2006 to decide what to charge for displays.

- Sheena Moore

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