Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Major job loss, recession warning for UK; Stimulus fails to lift Japan; 'Millennials have less sex'

1 Major job loss, recession warning for UK (Sean Farrell in The Guardian) The Bank of England needs to use a sledgehammer to combat a severe economic downturn caused by the vote to leave the EU, one of Britain’s most respected thinktanks has warned.

In a grim assessment of the UK economy after the vote for Brexit, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said 320,000 jobs would be lost by the third quarter of next year and warned that the economy had a 50% chance of slipping into recession in the next 18 months.

Inflation would increase to more than 3% for the first time in five years in late 2017 as the weak pound pushes up the price of imports and the government would be forced to borrow an extra £47bn in the next four years, NIESR said.

According to the thinktank, economic growth would slow to 0.2% in the current quarter from 0.6% in the previous three months and stagnate for the rest of the year. Growth is forecast at 1% for all of next year but conditions could worsen, it said. Its report followed a series of dire business surveys including one showing the economy shrinking at its fastest pace since 2009.

NIESR said the slowdown was caused by reduced business investment after Brexit, which threatened to disrupt companies’ most important trading relationships. Rising unemployment, muted wage growth and uncertainty would also hit consumer spending, it added.

With the Bank set to announce its response to Brexit-induced economic uncertainty on Thursday, NIESR called on the monetary policy committee to act decisively by cutting interest rates and resuming its bond-buying programme, known as quantitative easing.

Cutting rates from 0.5% to a new record low of 0.1%, starting with a quarter point cut on Thursday, and buying another £200bn of government bonds could offset most of the effects of Brexit, NIESR said. The government may also need to step in with tax cuts or spending increases to support the economy, it added.

2 Stimulus fails to lift Japan (BBC) Japanese shares traded lower on Wednesday continuing a global sell-off on US and European stock markets. In Japan, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was down by 1.4% to 16,151.47 points.

Investor mood failed to be lifted by Tuesday's large stimulus package as economists doubt it will have much of an impact on the country's sluggish economy. Wall Street markets fell on Tuesday with indexes registering some of their biggest losses in a month. South Korea's benchmark Kospi dropped 1% to 1,998.94.

3 ‘Millennials have less sex’ (Johannesburg Times) Young people today are not having as much sex as previous generations, despite the widespread availability of dating sites and apps and more accepting attitudes about premarital sex, researchers have said.

The study focused on millennials, the generation of people born in the 1990s, and found they were the most sexually inactive group since the Depression era. "The only other generation that showed a higher rate of sexual inactivity were those born in the 1920s," said the study by researchers at Florida Atlantic University.

The report found that among Americans aged 20 to 24, those born in the early 1990s were significantly more likely to report no sexual partners after age 18 than Gen X'ers born in the late 1960s.

"This study really contradicts the widespread notion that millennials are the 'hookup' generation, which is popularised by dating apps like 'Tinder' and others, suggesting that they are just looking for quick relationships and frequent casual sex," said co-author Ryne Sherman, associate professor of psychology in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University.

Young women today are about twice as likely as men to be sexually inactive, it found. The study also showed that fewer young people get a driver's license or work for pay, suggesting they "are growing up more slowly than those born in the 1980s." Somehow, knowing more about sex and being able to see it on video has not translated into more actual sex for young people today.

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