Friday news roundup April 5, 2019
Germany’s economy predicted to stall this year. According to a report compiled for Germany’s economics ministry by the country’s leading economic institutes, Germany’s economy could experience a considerably lower growth in 2019. A "Joint Economic Forecast" created by several prominent German economic research institutes shows that economists predict a meagre 0.8% growth this year. Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department of Macroeconomics and vice president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), which coordinated this spring's report commented: “The long-term upswing of the German economy has come to an end.” According to the report, the weak growth is due both to the international environment and industry-specific events.
Generous tax breaks for Australian families would help with cost of living. The Morrison government's "immediate relief to low and middle-income earners" budget initiative provides generous tax breaks for low and middle-income earning families in Australia. Nurse Ellen Camilleri and her husband Chris, a horse racing industry analyst, have found the increasing cost of living despite static wages hard but the newly announced tax breaks provide hope. Ms Camilleri commented: “The cost of living for a family of four is hard. This eases the pressure of the increase in private health insurance for us. We can more easily afford the level of private cover we want.”
Gender pay gap in the UK: more progress needs to be made. Analysis by the BBC has found that fewer than half of the UK’s biggest employers have narrowed their gender pay gap. The discrepancy in pay in favor of men has increased across 45% of firms and at a further 7% there was no change. A pay gap in favor of men can be seen across 78% of companies whilst 14% favored women and there was no reported difference for the rest. The median pay gap in favor of men has lowered slightly to 9.6% this year. Sam Smethers, chief executive at Fawcett Society, commented: “The regulations are not tough enough. It's time for action plans, not excuses. Employers need to set out a five-year strategy for how they will close their gender pay gaps, monitoring progress and results.”
Read IZA World of Labor articles on labor markets and institutions, childcare policy and maternal employment and gender divide.