Manufacturing Odds & Ends

GDP is down, unemployment is up

Confirming what most Americans already knew, the U.S. gross domestic product fell at its fastest pace since 1982 in the final three months of 2008 on sharp declines in consumer spending, investment and exports, the government said Friday.

GDP fell at a 6.2-percent seasonally adjusted annualized pace in the final three months of the year, revised from the initial estimate of a 3.8-percent drop, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. It was the worst decline in GDP since a 6.4-percent drop in the first quarter of 1982.

"The decrease in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from exports, personal consumption expenditures, equipment and software, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a positive contribution from federal government spending," the department stated.

The fall in GDP amplified the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s report on Thursday that the state unemployment rate jumped to 7.6 percent in January, up from 5.8 percent in December and 4.9 percent in January 2008.

Barrett announces methane pipeline project

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett recently unveiled plans for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and Veolia Environmental Services to build a 17-mile methane gas pipeline from the Emerald Park Landfill in Muskego to the Jones Island water reclamation plant in Milwaukee’s harbor.

Veolia is a private contractor that operates MMSD’s treatment facilities.

With the plan, methane gas produced at the Muskego landfill at W124 S10629 124th St. will be harnessed for fuel for MMSD.

Barrett said the "green" pipeline will save business and residential customers served by MMSD an estimated $148 million over 20 years.


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