Afternoon Coffee: Economy grows; House passes USMCA; Uber Works in Miami; Lowe’s has e-procurement deal

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The Commerce Department on Friday said the GDP, the total output of goods and services, grew at 2.1% for the third quarter — which is a positive development considering previous talk of a slowdown or recession, according to The Associated Press.

“While 2% growth is below the gains of 3%-plus growth President Donald Trump has promised, it is far better than the recession many analysts feared could occur just a few months ago when financial markets were being roiled by rising tensions in the U.S.-China trade dispute and a global economic slowdown,” the AP said.

Economists expect moderate growth to continue this quarter and into early 2020, the AP reports.

U.S. House passes the USMCA to replace NAFTA

In a bipartisanship vote, the House passed an updated version of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) with a 385-41 tally. The Senate may vote on it in early January.

In many ways, the USMCA works on the same regulation framework and involves the same products as that of  the current NAFTA deal that took effect in 1994, according to the Supply Chain Management Review. But the new law has environmental and labor regulation changes, and it incentivizes domestic production of cars and trucks. And it includes intellectual property protections.

Uber Works expands to Miami

Spend Matters reported in early October on the launch of Uber Works in Chicago. Uber has now launched its new line of business in Miami, payments.com reports. Uber Works allows businesses or people to hire workers to perform shift work, often in the hospitality and events industries. According to Uber, hourly rates range from $11-16.

Unlike Uber’s popular ride-sharing business that treats workers as independent contractors (ICs), Uber Works partners with staffing companies that payroll the workers and serve as their employer of record, thus mitigating misclassification risks. Uber is, however, promoting Uber Works to Uber drivers as a way of earning more by doing other types of gig work.

But that may not solve other problems for the workers that need health insurance and other benefits/services. To learn more about the gradual emergence of worker-facing services, check out this Spend Matters PRO article: Sourcing and Engaging the Independent/Freelance Workforce — An Emerging Ecosystem? (Part 4).

Lowe's, Yardi partner on e-procurement

Home improvement chain Lowe's is providing users of real estate management software provider Yardi an e-procurement option. Yardi users now have the ability to select Lowe's as a vendor and add items from the LowesForPros.com to their shopping cart. The order is then approved within the buyer's e-procurement system and sent to a local Lowe's store for fulfillment. Lowe’s will launch the Yardi partnership in January 2020.

Happy Holidays

Thank you for reading Spend Matters' Afternoon Coffee this year. The news roundup will be taking a break. Happy Holidays!

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