News That Matters

Tag: economy

The gig economy is lacking in this one important way

The gig economy is lacking in this one important way

Finance
The gig economy, in which people make money on digital apps and work on their own schedules, is also sometimes referred to as the "new economy." But not everyone wants to give up the trappings of the "old," especially when it comes to saving for retirement.In a Senate hearing in early February on "Exploring the 'Gig Economy' and the Future of Retirement Savings," economists and business leaders proposed ways to fix the alarming reality that many people in this expanding labor market are not preparing for old age. Just 16 percent of independent workers have a retirement savings plan, compared to more than half of employees who have access to an employer-sponsored one.There is a near-perfect storm of reasons for why retirement saving is difficult for independent contractors, said Camille O...
Donald Trump and the US economy in six charts

Donald Trump and the US economy in six charts

Business
Donald Trump took his place in the White House exactly one year ago. Since then he has repeatedly claimed to be behind a new rise in the American economy. Here, six charts explore his relationship with US growth, the labour market and trade.1. The American economy is growingDonald Trump has spoken of his desire to turbo-charge the US economy to a growth rate of as high as 6%.The latest figures, released by the US Department of Commerce in December, show that it grew at an annual rate of 3.2% in the third quarter of 2017. However, after the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, raised interest rates for the third time in 2017 in December, it is possible growth will slow in the coming months.2. US stocks have had a record runThe Dow Jones Industrial Average - which follows the shares of 30 m...
China is pumping a lot of cash into its economy to calm investors

China is pumping a lot of cash into its economy to calm investors

Finance
China has been pumping a lot of cash into its system to lift market sentiment, as the world's second-largest economy walks a thin line between curbing debt and keeping everything running smoothly.Last week, the People's Bank of China injected cash totaling 810 billion Chinese yuan ($ 122.4 billion) in five straight days of daily liquidity management operations. Those actions, which represented the largest weekly net increase since January, were in part a Beijing response to its 10-year sovereign bond yields spiking to multiyear highs, experts said."Surging Chinese government bond yields hit the nerve of policymakers, so in order to further prevent a greater surge, they injected liquidity into the system to improve market sentiment," said Ken Cheung, a foreign exchange strategist at Mizuho ...
As the global economy picks up, inflation is oddly quiescent

As the global economy picks up, inflation is oddly quiescent

Finance
A FEW years ago, the news about the euro-zone economy was uniformly bad to the point of tedium. These days, it is the humdrum diet of benign data that prompts a yawn. Figures this week show that GDP rose by 0.6% in the three months to the end of September (an annualised rate of 2.4%). The European Commission’s economic-sentiment index rose to its highest level in almost 17 years. Yet when the European Central Bank’s governing council gathered on October 26th, it decided to keep interest rates unchanged, at close to zero, and to extend its bond-buying programme (known as quantitative easing, or QE) for a further nine months.The central bank said it would slow down the pace of bond purchases each month, to €30bn ($ 35bn) from January. But Mario Draghi, the bank’s boss, declined to set an end
The $10.4 billion cost of the flu on the US economy

The $10.4 billion cost of the flu on the US economy

Finance
There's something even scarier than Halloween ghosts and goblins lurking around the corner: The flu.Every year around this time, the ever-evolving influenza virus begins descending upon the Northern Hemisphere, bringing misery to the millions of Americans who end up suffering from it.On top of the wretched physical symptoms it causes — including fever, chills, muscle aches, cough and fatigue — the cost of getting the flu is generally greater than a dose of prevention.Yet most people apparently don't mind the risk. In the 2015-2016 flu season, just 43.3 percent of U.S. adults got the flu vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For those under age 18, the rate was 59 percent. (Click on CDC chart below to enlarge.)At the same time, an estimated 24.5 million were