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Economy Briefs

- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 28, 2011

WALL STREET

Wall Street trading not deterred Monday

NEW YORK | The opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange will ring on time Monday.

The operators of the historic Big Board and other major U.S. exchanges said they plan to open for trading as usual. The announcements came after city officials said damage from Tropical Storm Irene wasn't as severe as feared in New York's financial district.

It wasn't clear Sunday afternoon whether the city's subways and buses would be running normally in time for the Monday morning commute, and flooding and downed trees were obstructing tracks throughout the major commuter rail systems that bring workers into town from the New York, Connecticut and New Jersey suburbs. The world's biggest transit system was shut down ahead of the storm.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg lifted the evacuation order for downtown Manhattan, effective 3 p.m.

FAA

First Boeing 787 flight OK'd by federal agency

NEW YORK | The Federal Aviation Administration has cleared the way for the new Boeing 787 to take its first commercial flight.

Both the FAA and European regulators certified the plane for flight Friday. Boeing completed flight tests on the 787 earlier this month.

Boeing plans to deliver the first 787 to Japan's All Nippon Airways in September. The airline plans to fly it for the first time as a charter Oct. 26 and begin regular service Nov. 1.

Plagued by various production problems, delivery is about three years late. The Chicago airline maker has orders from 55 customers for more than 800 of the planes. They will cost $185.2 million to $218.1 million each.

FARMERS

Report: Farmers up on Internet use

FRESNO, Calif. | The number of farmers with Internet access on a variety of digital gadgets has dramatically increased, changing the way farms do business, according to a federal report.

Farmers say they're increasingly using the Internet to speed up their work flow, improve their farming techniques, market their crops, connect with customers and retailers, and fulfill a variety of regulatory requirements.

Within the past decade, the number of farms with an Internet connection has increased by nearly 20 percentage points, according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month. More than half of America's farms now have access to the Internet, with farmers in the West with the highest access.

Farmers still lag behind the general population - nearly 80 percent of Americans surf the Web at home - but the fact that Internet-enabled devices have become less expensive and more portable has fueled the increase.

More than 70 percent of farms with sales of $250,000 or more use the Internet for farm business.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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