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Business

  • Lake City parent's quarterly earnings up 22%
    Lakeland Financial Corp. today reported record second-quarter earnings of $11.3 million, or 68 cents per diluted common share, a 22 percent increase from the $9.2 million, or 56 cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2013.
  • NCI Fort Wayne workers eligible for federal assistance
    Former employees of NCI Fort Wayne LLC, a subsidiary of Nyloncraft Inc., are certified to receive federal benefits through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, state officials announced today.
  • Column: Cattle stampede higher
    Cattle futures shot into all-time highs again this week, reaching $1.58 per pound on Thursday.
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Economy likely to begin rebound after weak 1st quarter

– Expect a dreary report today when the government issues its first estimate of how fast the U.S. economy grew in the January-March quarter.

Bitter cold kept consumers and businesses in hibernation for much of the winter, likely slowing growth to a scant annual pace of 1.1 percent.

Yet thanks to a bounce-back in consumer spending, business investment and job growth, analysts foresee a strengthening economy through the rest of the year.

In fact, many say 2014 will be the year the recovery from the last recession finally achieves the robust growth that’s needed to accelerate hiring and reduce still-high unemployment.

Most analysts think annual economic growth has rebounded to about 3 percent in the current April-June quarter and will remain roughly at that pace through the second half of the year.

If that proves accurate, the economy will have produced the fastest annual expansion in the gross domestic product, the broadest gauge of the economy’s health, in nine years. The last time growth was so strong was in 2005, when GDP grew 3.4 percent, two years before the nation fell into the worst recession since the 1930s.

A group of economists surveyed this month said they expect unemployment to fall to 6.2 percent by the end of this year from 6.7 percent in March.

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