Five fascinating business facts – Part 29
America’s jobs recovery continued unabated by adding 209,000 in July, fuelled by a surge in hiring at restaurants and bars, according to figures that exceeded Wall Street expectations and the data showed that Americans are happy and eating again. According to the data, job gains occurred across a range of service industries, with employment in restaurants and bars up by 53,000, meaning the industry has added 313,000 jobs over the year. Retail, which has been suffering from e-commerce-induced attrition, was little changed on the month or compared with a year earlier.
Last week’s financial results for Apple were surprisingly good for a quarter before the launch of an important new product. The share price hit a record high even as the company warned of a pause in buying iPhones — and it still sold 41m of the soon-to-be outdated devices, a 2 per cent rise on the same quarter last year. This perhaps reflects that Apple is no longer reliant on having the leading technology — but it does depend on the iPhone, with more than half of sales in the third quarter. The new iPhone could be as important to refreshing the image of the Apple smartphone as the first did in 2007 because Samsung’s planned launch of its note8 could provide a stiff challenge.
Ghana’s cocoa machine appears unstoppable and it is at a six year high. Data show that graded and sealed deliveries since the beginning of the season in October reached 909,493 metric tons by July 27, the biggest since the 1,012,839 ton harvest for the whole of the 2010-11 season and compares with 778,043 tons produced in the 2015-16 crop, when severe desert winds damaged crops and affected rainfall. Certified purchases for the first seven weeks of the so-called light crop, the smaller of the two annual harvests which started June 8, totaled 40,083 tons, said the people. Purchases for the main crop, which ended May 25, totaled 869,410 tons.
Petrol and diesel powered cars are sputtering into obsolescence faster than even the hardest critics would have imagined and setting the alarm bells in capitals like Abuja and others like it where dependence on petrol dollars has become an addiction. The trend toward electric vehicles is coming from both government and industry. Norway and the Netherlands have also announced bans on gas-powered vehicles, scheduled for 2025. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Volvo Car Group has said all its motors will be electric by 2019. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that 54 percent of new car sales in 2040 globally will be electric, with falling battery prices making the technology price competitive by 2030.
It is no longer news that South African Airways financial situation is so precarious. The company’s executive are taking pay cuts Parliament has heard.
The airline recorded an almost R1.4bn loss in the first quarter against a budgeted loss of R813m‚ and faces the prospect of more than R6bn in loans maturing at the end of September. The airline has had to negotiate with more than 20 suppliers to pay its July invoices in instalments, as it battles a liquidity crisis. The move by the executive to take a 5% pay cut was “commendable” says the country’s finance minister, but more needed to be done to “demonstrate to South Africans they are correct to give them their support”.
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