Afternoon Coffee: Toyota and Mazda Select Alabama for New Factory, Myanmar Approves Wage Hike for Garment Workers

Toyota and Mazda’s previously announced joint car factory, worth $1.6 billion, will be built in Alabama, Bloomberg reports. The investment is part of a response by automakers to build more vehicles in the US in the face of threats from the Trump administration to levy a border tax on products built in Mexico.

Myanmar Sourcing

Myanmar’s government has raised the minimum wage for workers by 33% this year, likely raising sourcing costs for organizations that rely on the country, according to Sourcing Journal. Though the increase is sizeable percentage-wise, it is still far below the 55% increase workers and unions had demanded in earlier protests.

Blockchain for Consent

If anyone needed more evidence that 2018 would be the year of the blockchain, here it is. A Dutch legal tech group has launched a blockchain-based contract system called Legal Fling that is designed “to allow people to record their agreement to consensual behavior in the bedroom, but without having to produce a pen and paper in the middle of a romantic moment,” blog Artificial Lawyer writes. The app is more a proof of concept for the applicability of “live contract” technology to everyday scenarios.

Consumer Credit

And finally, an economic update: Increased consumer confidence in the economy is supporting the largest gain in consumer borrowing in 16 years, the Wall Street Journal reports. Outstanding consumer credit rose by $27.95 billion in November from the prior month, the biggest increase since November 2001.

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