News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: U.S. economy up 3.2% , Australia, Trans-Arctic shipping

Katharine Crnko Jan 28, 2011

The U.S. economy grew by 3.2 percent last quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday, in its report on the nation’s gross domestic product. Jill Schlesinger of CBS/MoneyWatch explained that government growth was down, but output of goods and services in the private sector expanded. Economists attribute the pickup to strong consumer spending and to overseas sales by U.S. companies.

It’s been nearly two weeks since areas of Australia were devastated by floods that wiped out crops, homes and streets. But economists now are predicting that the flood could actually benefit the Australian economy, as recovery projects could fuel job creation and retail sales.

And historic amounts of water — from Arctic ice melt — could make Trans-Arctic shipping more possible , though certainly not easy.

Finally, cable giant Comcast takes ownership of NBC Universal today, and that could mean changes in news operations.

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