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World Economic Forum sees $400 trillion shortfall in retirement savings

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-05-2017 Livemint

Longer life spans and disappointing investment returns will help create a $400 trillion retirement-savings shortfall in about three decades, a figure more than five times the size of the global economy, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report.

That includes a $224 trillion gap among six large pension-savings systems: the US, the UK, Japan, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia, according to the report issued on Friday. China and India account for the rest.

WEF said its calculations are based on publicly available data on government programmes such as social security in the US; employer-based contributions and individual savings. It assumed that workers would retire between the ages of 60 and 70.Bloomberg

China’s April industrial profits grow 14%

Profits earned by Chinese industrial firms rose 14% in April from a year earlier, official data showed on Saturday, slowing from March’s pace and adding to concerns that the world’s second largest economy may be losing steam.

Profits in April rose to 572.78 billion yuan ($83.59 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on its website.

Profits had surged 23.8% in March over the same month of last year.

For the first fourth months of the year, profits reached 2.28 trillion yuan, up 24.4% from the same period last year and compared with a growth of 28.3% in the first quarter.

After a roaring start to the year, industrial earnings had been expected to soften in April as prices of iron ore, steel and other commodities fell sharply, and as growth in factory output, investment and retail sales tapered off.

A building boom, fuelled by a government infrastructure spree and a heated housing market, has boosted demand and prices for materials from steel to cement, giving China’s long ailing “smokestack” industries more cash-flow to chip away at a mountain of debt. Reuters

Pound traders sweat as UK elections get tighter

The UK elections are getting tighter, which could mean a nervy couple of weeks for pound traders.

Sterling dropped on Friday, rounding off the worst week this year, as a poll showed Theresa May’s Conservative Party leading the main opposition Labour Party by just five points, a gap that even this month had been as high as 24 points in some surveys.

Subrata Jana/Mint

That left investors questioning whether the Prime Minister would achieve the increased majority that had been baked into the pound for the past few weeks. Bloomberg

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