BUSINESS NEWS MAY 30TH, 2016
Global financial markets edged higher Monday, showing little immediate change three days after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled the central bank could raise interest rates in coming months.As domestic stock markets remained closed for the Memorial Day national holiday, Germany's DAX rose 0.5% to close at 10,333.23. Separately, France's CAC-40 edged up 0.3% to close at 4,529.40.In Asian trading earlier, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed nearly 1.4% higher at 17,068.02.Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.26% to 20,629.39 and India's Sensex Index rose 0.27% to 26,725.60.
STRIKING VERIZON WORKERS SCORE RAISE AND BONUSES
Unionized Verizon workers who had been striking since mid-April will return back to work this week after negotiating a healthy pay raise and bonus.The union leading the negotiations -- Communications Workers of America -- said workers will receive a $1,250 "signing bonus" and a 3% raise. The deal with Verizon must still be ratified by workers.In total, workers can expect a raise of nearly 11% over the next four years and hundreds of dollars in profit sharing payments, the union said.As part of the deal, Verizon also committed to hire 1,400 new employees, with the vast majority set to be based in call centers on the East Coast.
FEDS SPEND BILLIONS TO RUN ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY
The government is squandering its technology budget maintaining museum-ready computer systems in critical areas from nuclear weapons to Social Security. They're still using floppy disks at the Pentagon.In a report released Wednesday, nonpartisan congressional investigators found that about three-fourths of the $80 billion budget goes to keep aging technology running, and the increasing cost is shortchanging modernization.The White House has been pushing to replace workhorse systems that date back more than 50 years in some cases. But the government is expected to spend $7 billion less on modernization in 2017 than in 2010, said the Government Accountability Office.
INDIA CLIMBS TO 41ST SLOT ON COMPETITIVENESS RANKING
India has moved up three spots from last year to 41 on the IMD World Competitiveness Scoreboard, 2016. The country's ranking had fallen to 44 in 2015, from 35 in 2012.Hong Kong replaced the US as the world's most competitive economy. Switzerland, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada have got slots in the top 10. India's improvement is in sharp contrast to the sagging fortunes of other Asian countries. According to the report, Asia's competitiveness declined since last year's ranking with Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea Republic, Indonesia and China falling from their 2015 positions.