Economy and technology headlines update

Posted on: January 7, 2012

A round up of some of the recent data for your PEST and scenario analyses:

Economy and recession

Two reports warned that the economy would not return to pre-recession levels for several years and the world would take the same time to see a job market recovery. IPPR says it will be two years before Britain reaches 2008 output levels – making it slower than the rebound after the Great Depression of the 1930s. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says the global economy is on the verge of a deeper jobs recession with employment levels not returning to those of 2008 for a further five years – indicating 80m new jobs would have to be created in the next two years to return to pre-crisis levels. The ILO also warned that in 45 of 118 countries it studied, the risk of social unrest was rising.

Unemployment

Unemployment in the UK reached a 17 year high in December. 2.64 million are now unemployed – an unemployment rate of 8.3% and is worse than at any time since 1994. Women’s unemployment increased by 45,000 to 1.1m – the highest since 1988. Average earnings increased by 2% taking average weekly pay to £464.

Inward Investment

During the year ending March 2011 the UK received 1,434 foreign direct investment projects (less than previous year) from 54 countries with over 94,500 jobs (an increase compared to the previous year). The USA remains by far the biggest source of investment projects, accounting for 27 per cent of all investment and almost 40 per cent of created or safeguarded jobs. Project numbers were down for many countries, but there were increases for markets such as India, Canada, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Among the high growth markets, India and China are still the two principal sources of inward investment by project numbers.

More mobile phones than people

The number of mobile phones will top 6.8 billion by the end of 2012 suggest technology experts. China and India will have more than 1 billion mobile subscriptions during only the first half of 2012. It is thought that as a large number of the devices are smart phones which will provide Internet access for billions more people. Smart meters will help energy companies. Digital innovation is expected to accelerate. There are 62.5 million mobile phones for a population of 62.2 million.

 

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