Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Surveys Show Construction, Manufacturing More Optimistic

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Surveys Show Construction, Manufacturing More Optimistic

Article excerpt

NEW YORK _ Construction executives and manufacturers are more optimistic about business improvement this spring, the Dun & Bradstreet Corp. said Thursday in two monthly economic surveys. The leading provider of business information said construction company responses to its questions about orders and employment trends over the next three months all showed sharp gains. Douglas Handler, a D&B economist, said the survey results were surprising, since there has been no significant improvement in the construction industry nationwide since December. He attributed the increased optimism to the latest rounds of interest rate cuts that have made borrowing more affordable.

A second D&B survey of 1,000 manufacturers around the country also showed an improved outlook, with expectations of increased production and new orders. "The increase in manufacturers' optimism in the face of a further erosion in current conditions suggests that an industry turnaround may be in sight, simply because manufacturers' output rates are so low that there is nowhere to go but up," Handler said in a press release.

IBM to Make Ultra-fast Supercomputers NEW YORK _ IBM has decided to make ultra-fast supercomputers used for highly complicated scientific calculations, such as long-range weather forecasting, pharmaceutical modeling and aircraft design. International Business Machines Corp., based in Armonk, N.Y., said Thursday it was delving into the niche market it had previously avoided. IBM plans to build the these machines using the same processor chips found in its desk-top workstation computers through a technique called parallel processing. Hundreds or thousands of these chips will be linked to work on a problem at once, in machines that would challenge the fastest computers ever built.

The entry into this market by IBM, the world's largest computer maker, is a strong endorsement of a relatively young technology. The work will be done in a new IBM facility, the Highly Parallel Supercomputing Systems Laboratory and based in Kingston, N.Y., and will draw on the resources of IBM's mainframe computer, workstation and research divisions. …

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