Talking points: China, global warming and more

Posted: 05/09/2019

China’s grow-slow
China’s economic growth has slowed to its lowest rate for 27 years, according to the latest data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). During the second quarter of 2019, GDP was 6.2% higher than a year earlier, compared with growth of 6.4% in the previous quarter, and 6.6% for the whole of 2018. This represents the lowest quarterly figure since the NBS began publishing its GDP figures in 1992. However, imports and exports continued to grow modestly in spite of the current trade war with the US. In addition, many areas, including retail and the service sector, continue to outpace overall growth.

Pay boost
Proposals to double the federal minimum wage in the US will have little effect on jobs, according to the authors of a new study. Congress is voting on a Democrat bill that would see the minimum wage go up from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2024 – a move that critics say would lead to big job losses and fewer work opportunities. But the research, by the University of California, Berkeley, found that the effect on jobs would be insignificant. Researchers analysed data from 750 counties across the US and concluded that where wages had been raised, it had not had an impact on employment. 

BL64_talking pointsWarming up
London in 2050 will have the same climate as Barcelona today; Moscow will be like Sofia; and Stockholm will be as warm as Vienna, according to a study by the Crowther Lab, examining the likely effect of climate change over the next 30 years. Cities of the future: visualising climate change to inspire action looked at 520 cities around the world – capitals and those with more than a million inhabitants – and found that 77% will experience ‘a striking change’ of climate conditions. Cities in northern latitudes will typically assume today’s climate of cities 1,000 miles to their south. Cities in the tropics will see smaller changes in temperature, but may become drier.

PR’s reputation problem
Some 40% of business executives in large companies think that public relations does not deliver good value for their business, a survey has found. The research – How executives in large companies perceive PR – was carried out by pollster Cencuswide on behalf of Releasd, which provides services to PR agencies. It surveyed 300 executives in companies with more than 1,000 employees, across a range of sectors, and found that 20% were not even aware that PR stands for public relations. Over a third of executives admitted that they did not have a good understanding of what the PR function does within their business, with the survey finding that, generally, the larger the company, the lower the understanding of PR.

Flying high
And the winner is … Narita International Airport in Japan. Booking site Globehunters has produced a list of the world’s best airports for business travellers and Narita, previously known as New Tokyo, came out on top. The airports were ranked on a range of factors, including passenger numbers, on-time arrival performance, transit times, parking prices, number of lounges and destinations served. Los Angeles International and Frankfurt picked up the second and third places, while Tokyo’s Hareda airport was also in the top 10. London’s Heathrow came in a laggardly number 33, while bottom of the list was the other major London airport, Gatwick. For airport anoraks, the location with the biggest passenger throughput is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport with 107.4 million, followed closely by Beijing Capital International at almost 101 million.

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