Thursday, June 22, 2017
Smartphones may be cause for low inflation; Qatar Airways seeks 10% in American Airlines; Divorce rate falls as couples wait
1 Smartphones may be cause for low inflation (Khaleej Times) Americans' love of their smartphones and apps may be contributing to the sluggish pace of inflation that is worrying Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, a top bond manager at BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, said.
Consumers are relying less and less on devices such as cameras, radios and televisions, and services such as taxis and stores, replacing them with programs in their iPhones and other high-end phones, according to Rick Rieder, BlackRock's chief investment officer of global fixed income.
Companies like Amazon.com, Netflix and Uber Technologies have enticed consumers with convenience and low prices through their phones. As a result, they have upended traditional retailers, entertainment outlets and transportation services, Rieder said in an article.
Some of the recent pullback in inflation also stemmed from lower energy prices resulting from global oversupply, analysts said. The recent softening of inflation has raised speculation on the timing on the US central bank's next rate increase. A few policymakers including Evans have said it may be worthwhile for the Fed to wait until year-end before considering another rate hike.
2 Qatar Airways seeks 10% in American Airlines (Gulf News) State-owned Qatar Airways is attempting to buy a 10 per cent stake in American Airlines, triggering US antitrust oversight of deals that size.
American said in a regulatory filing that the bid was unsolicited, but that the CEOs of both airlines have spoken. Qatar submitted a filing under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which is subject to review by the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.
American and Qatar are already members of the Oneworld marketing alliance, which allows passengers to earn and redeem points on each other’s flights. An expanded partnership could make it easier for American passengers to get to smaller cities in India, and developing countries in Southeast Asia.
3 Divorce rate falls as couples wait (Johannesburg Times/The Telegraph) Analysis suggests the plummeting divorce rate is partly being driven by sensible couples who are now more likely to wait longer before they marry.
New figures from the UK Office of National Statistics show that in 2015 101,055 couples divorced, the lowest number since 1971. The number of opposite-sex couples divorcing fell by more than a third between 2003 and 2015 and by 9.1% between 2014 and 2015, the biggest drop in more than 40 years.
The report says: "Age at marriage is considered to be linked to the risk of divorce with those marrying in their teens and early 20s being at greater risk of divorce."