Consumer spending helps drive GDP growth
Washington, D.C. – Consumer spending growth of 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2013 helped drive a 2.6% increase in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). According to the third and final estimate from the Commerce Department, the price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.5% in the fourth quarter.
The 2.6% estimate is up from the second estimate of 2.4% released by the Commerce Department in February 2014, although slightly below a consensus Bloomberg estimate of 2.7% compiled from 79 economists. In the third quarter of 2013, GDP grew 4.1% and consumer spending increased 2%.
EBay plans automated Canada fulfillment center
San Jose, Calif. — EBay Enterprise, an EBay company, will open a new fulfillment center in Ontario, Canada, in second quarter 2014. The new 150,000-sq.-ft. facility will support client growth, including The Children’s Place, which recently signed a new multiyear agreement with EBay Enterprise.
The renewal includes fulfillment services for the company’s rapidly growing Canadian ecommerce business. The new facility extends EBay Enterprise’s fulfillment and freight offerings in Canada and includes automation, such as conveyance and put-to-light technologies, to speed package delivery times.
“The Canadian market is providing new commerce opportunities for brands and retailers and our clients are turning to us to support their growth strategies in this region,” said Tobias Hartmann, interim president, EBay Enterprise. “We are committed to offering our clients the capacity, speed and scale required to deliver an exceptional experience to their Canadian customers.”
Wal-Mart unveils futuristic truck prototype
Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart showcased its futuristic truck at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky. The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a tractor-trailer combination that features leading edge aerodynamics, an advanced turbine-powered range extending series hybrid powertrain, electrified auxiliary components, and sophisticated control systems, developed in support of the company’s sustainability program.
In 2005, Wal-Mart announced its goal to double fleet efficiency by 2015 by delivering more merchandise while driving fewer miles on the most efficient equipment. Although the prototype currently runs on diesel, its turbine is fuel-neutral and can run on compressed or liquid natural gas, biofuels or other fuels. The prototype is the result of collaboration between Wal-Mart and vendors, including Peterbilt, Roush, Great Dane and Capstone Turbine.
“Wal-Mart is continually looking for innovative ways to increase our efficiencies and reduce our fleet’s emissions,” said Tracy Rosser, senior VP of transportation at Walmart. “The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a bold step in transportation technologies that, although not on the road in its current form, will serve as a learning platform for the future that will accelerate our progress toward our goals.”