Archive for April, 2016

UK Only Article: 
standard article

Issue: 

How to measure prosperity

Fly Title: 

The labour market

Rubric: 

Labour-force participation is rising again, at last

ACCORDING to Donald Trump, America’s “real” unemployment rate is higher than 40%. The fact hiding behind this Trumpism is that America’s labour-force-participation rate—the fraction of the population either in a job, or looking for one—is only 63%. The Donald is mixing up his economic barometers. But America’s low participation rate has captivated economists almost as much as unemployment, ever since participation tumbled dramatically after the financial crisis. Recently, it has begun a belated recovery.
In early 2007, 66% of Americans were in the labour force. After recession struck, participation tumbled, falling to 64% by 2012. By September 2015 it had hit 62.4%—its lowest since 1977, when less than half of women worked. Since that low, however, participation has come back into fashion: 2.4m Americans have joined the labour force in the last six months, pushing the rate back up by 0.6 percentage points. …

via Economic Crisis http://ift.tt/1pK5wYh

UK Only Article: 
standard article

Issue: 

How to measure prosperity

Fly Title: 

Buttonwood

Rubric: 

The mood of the markets has changed

SOMETIMES the financial markets seem to go in a different direction from the fundamentals. Global economic forecasts for 2016 are still being revised downwards and the rate of defaults on corporate bonds is rising sharply. But since the middle of February, share prices have rallied strongly while the spread (the excess interest rate over government bonds) paid by corporate borrowers has fallen significantly.
The reason for this divergence is that investors are affected not just by news, but by how the news diverges from their expectations. Things may not be great, but they are not as bad as was feared earlier in the year. In February there were widespread worries about the Chinese economy—concerns that the plunging price of oil and other commodities seemed to validate. The latest data suggest the Chinese economy is slowing but not crashing; commodity prices have rebounded. In February the Federal Reserve was also expected to …

via Economic Crisis http://ift.tt/1VUKyEq

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Can she fix it? Fly Title:  Free exchange Main image:  20160423_FND000_0.jpg Rubric:  To get out of a slump, the world’s central banks consider handing out cash “HELICOPTER money” sounds like an item on an expense claim at a hedge fund. In fact, it is shorthand for a daring approach to monetary policy: printing money to fund government spending or to give people cash. Some central bankers seem to be preparing their whirlybirds (and their printing presses). In March Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, described helicopter money as a “very interesting concept”. Ardent supporters see it as a foolproof way to perk up slumping economies. Yet helicopter money is a less radical departure from the norm than it sounds. What is more, it fails to remove the political constraints that have been the biggest drag on recovery. The evocative concept of helicopter money comes from Milton Friedman, the father of monetarism, who mused in 1969 that …

via Economic Crisis http://ift.tt/1Tl7j0e

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Can she fix it? Fly Title:  Brazil Main image:  20160423_LDD002_0.jpg Rubric:  Dilma Rousseff has let her country down. But so has the entire political class BRAZIL’S Congress has witnessed some bizarre scenes in its time. In 1963 a senator aimed a gun at his arch-enemy and killed another senator by mistake. In 1998 a crucial government bill failed when a congressman pushed the wrong button on his electronic voting device. But the spectacle in the lower house on April 17th surely counts among the oddest. One by one, 511 deputies filed towards a crowded microphone and, in ten-second bursts broadcast to a rapt nation, voted on the impeachment of the president, Dilma Rousseff. Some were draped in Brazilian flags. One launched a confetti rocket. Many gushed dedications to their home towns, religions, pet causes—and even Brazil’s insurance brokers. The motion to forward charges against Ms Rousseff to the Senate for trial passed by 367 votes to 137, with seven …

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Whitesburg, Kentucky, was an area once known for coal mining but most of those jobs have dried up. Limited opportunities force many residents to leave, but some are able to find their way back.

via Economy : NPR http://ift.tt/1XK1WZU

UK Only Article: 
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Fly Title: 

The IMF’s economic forecasts

Rubric: 

The fund sees danger in the economic doldrums

IS THERE a global economic crisis on the horizon? Probably not. Is the world in danger of falling into recession? Not soon. Yet the IMF’s latest forecast update, part of its twice-yearly “World Economic Outlook”, is nevertheless resolutely downbeat. Speaking in Washington, DC, the fund’s chief economist, Maurice Obstfeld, outlined yet another set of downgrades to its global GDP growth projections. It is more likely that the next forecast revision will again be down, not up. One of the big risks to the world economy, he said, is from “non-economic risks”, fund-speak for grubby politics. A world economy heading for the growth doldrums, he cautioned, might be a politically perilous place. 

The actual forecast numbers are far from horrible. The fund nudged down its global growth projection for 2016 from 3.4% to 3.2%. That is still a shade faster than growth in 2015. The revisions are broad-based: America, Europe and the emerging world as a bloc all saw similar downgrades (see chart). The forecast …

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“New Mexico True” is the state’s tourism campaign, but an advocacy group created “New Mexico Truth” as a parody to highlight a reality in the state: High child poverty and low graduation rates.

via Economy : NPR http://ift.tt/1RTS2D6