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The Economist – 17/08/07
August 18, 2007, 8:11 am
Filed under: current affairs

The Economist – 17/08/07

  • ┬áIncome inequality in Asia heads towards Latin-American levels
    • The rich grow much faster than the poor
    • The widening gap between rural and urban incomes, especially in China
    • The widening gap between the skilled and less-skilled
  • The poor world is getting the rich world’s diseases
    • 4/5 of deaths in China are from chronic sicknesses, not infections.
    • Poor nations suffer both from infections and chronic sicknesses.
    • The economic burden of dealing with chronic diseases is great.
    • Lifestyle habits partly explains this: smoking and unhealthy eating.
    • Over 300m Chinese smoke. Middle-income countries are experiencing extraordinary levels of obesity.
  • Indian retailing – Wal-Mart steps into India through a partnership with Bharti Enterprises.
  • Proctor & Gamble – the world’s largest consumer goods company is betting on scale as the way to success
    • It bought Gillette and focuses on big brands like Pampers.
    • P&G obsesses over the habits of the consumer, especially female ones.
    • Scale helps consumer goods company keep commodity prices low due to better bargaining position.
    • Retailers increase power by developing their own brands.
    • Sharpening focus on health and beauty products, which fetch higher margins.
  • The savers of the future
    • The most popular product amongst young adults is the checking account; they are more likely than their parents to use debit and ATM cards.
    • They use cash more often than older people and are more likely to invest in shares.
    • They are comfortable with technology, individualistic and fond of networking.

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