1. Consumers are feeling better. Consumer confidence is at the highest level in four years, thanks to improvements in jobs, housing and the stock market. In the wake of the recession, Americans whittled down their debts, avoided borrowing and delayed purchases. That means the stage could be set for stronger consumer demand, which could nudge businesses that have put off hiring to add more workers. 'Business has likely pushed productivity growth as far as possible,' Principal Global's Mr. Baur says, suggesting employers will need to boost payrolls to meet stronger demand.[qh]
2. The enterprise storage company boosts company morale by hosting a mid-summer "Dog Day". Employees bring their pets to work and enjoy a vendor fair (local groomers, store owners, and trainers are often present), as well as a doggie talent show. A raffle runs the week leading up to the event, and all proceeds are donated to a local animal charity.
4. The total number of qualified applicants reached 31,220 in the first 24 hours, up from 25,000 over the same period last year, according to figures from offcn.com, an education organization that offers training for the civil servant exam.
6. Although foreign trade accounts for a greater share of the economy than ever, the United States is still more insulated than virtually every major competitor in Europe and Asia. Such everyday purchases as haircuts, dry cleaning, financial advice and eating out are virtually immune from foreign competition.
Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin showed the best overall progress, moving up 21 places to 48. Guanghua School of Management at Peking University returns to the ranking at 38, after missing last year due to a low response rate from participants.