Morning Business Memo
More than ever the US is part of the global economy with millions of American workers depending on jobs linked to imports and exports. A new warning that the world's economy has weakened further could mean a slowdown for global trade, and that would be the biggest threat to American jobs. In its latest update, The International Monetary Fund forecasts global growth of 3.3 percent this month - down from an estimate of nearly 4 percent just three months ago. Slower growth is also forecast for 2013. "Risks for a serious global slowdown are alarmingly high," according to the IMF's World Economic Outlook. The report comes one day after a forecast of a deepening slowdown in China, the world's second largest economy. India - another engine of growth - is also facing a serious slowdown.
Facebook wants a "want" button. In a bid for new sources of revenue, the world's most widely used social network site is reported to be in talks with Victoria's Secret, Pottery Barn, Nieman Marcus and several other retailers about a new feature called "collections." In a statement to PC Magazine, Facebook says users would be able to identify themselves as "wanting" a product from a company in the collection. "Those notes will be visible to users' friends on their Timelines and there will also be a buy link for each product," says the report. The "want" button would be in addition to the popular "like" button on Facebook.
Fearless Felix's daredevil skydive could be a risky move for his sponsor. If all goes well this morning for Felix Baumgartner's attempt to break the world record for the highest and fastest free fall, it could be a bonanza for Red Bull, the Austrian energy drink manufacturer. Red Bull is sponsoring the big event and live streaming the daring jump on its website. For years Red Bull has been involved with sky diving and other extreme sports. Today's jump brings free publicity and could enhance Red Bull's image as an out-of-the-box marketer.
Alaska Airlines says its flights are running close to normal after its ticketing system was shut down by a technical problem. Nearly 80 flights were canceled while many others were delayed for hours. The problem started Monday morning and was caused by two severed fiberoptic lines.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio ABCNews.com twitter.com/daviesabc