MIDDAY UPDATE: Chinese delegation, Walmart, Target and Arby's
China announced a 10.3 percent GDP growth in December today. That's three times faster than GDP growth in the U.S., leading economists to believe the Chinese economy is growing too fast. During the Chinese delegation's visit to the U.S. this week, top finance officials continued discussing the current status of the yuan, and how currency wars affect U.S. and Chinese businesses. President Hu Jintau met with business leaders in Chicago today. Talks focused on green energy and resources, the export market between the U.S. and China, and intellectual property.
Walmart announced its plan to sell healthier food today. The plan focuses on trimming salt, sugar, and fat contents from Walmart's house brands and encouraging food suppliers to follow suit. In other big box news, Target now will hire employee counselors](http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/01/20/am-target-hire...) to help workers deal with financial stress and personal health issues. Target hopes the program will cut back on employee absenteeism and turnover.
Where's the beef? Not at Arby's, apparently. The Wendy's/Arby's group is considering selling Arby's because of its poor global performance. Sara Senatore, a restaurant analyst at Sanford Bernstein, explains that expansion abroad is one of the few growth opportunities for fast food chains. She says, "Roast beef is probably, very much a typically American sandwich. And it may not resonate as well."