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This is Business Live from BBC News with Ben Thompson and Ben Bland.
Japan reports its longest run of economic growth in a decade.
Live from London, that's our top story on Monday the 14th of August.
Japan records its sixth straight quarter of economic growth, fuelled
But could soaring debt and stubborn deflation derail the recovery?
Despite being banned in the country for years,
a photo-sharing app 'colourful Balloons' has popped
up on the mainland - but has no Facebook branding.
And a new week but old worries over tensions between North Korea
And with holiday season in full swing we'll speak to the founder
of one hotel online booking firm who's trying to cut
And as airline passenger arrests soar by 50%,
Today we want to know what are your flying bugbears?
Know surprisingly my biggest bugbear when a flying is the lack of legroom
-- no surprise, my biggest bugbear. We start with Japan,
which has just released its latest set of growth figures,
and there's good news for It recorded its longest economic
expansion in a decade. Japan beat expectations with growth
of 1% between April and June - that's the sixth straight
quarter of growth. The numbers are an encouraging
sign for the government but don't solve the country's
ongoing financial headaches. Japan's productivity per person
per hour stands at $23.45. That leaves it in 18th place
in the world, well behind the US on $33.41 and a host of others
including Canada, the UK and France. The country's debt has also
ballooned in recent years. At more than 250% of GDP it
has the largest debt to output ratio in the world,
by quite a comfortable margin. Long-term the country also faces
what's been described If current trends persist,
in less than 50 years nearly 40% of the population will be over
the age of 65. Sir David Warren, an associate
fellow of the Asia programme Do we take this to mean that the
combination of monetary easing and fiscal stimulus and structural
reforms is working? It is good news for Abenomics because it seems
to be working, this is the strongest growth for two years, the strongest
consumer spending for a couple of years and the longest continuous
growth for over a decade. You have to go back to the early 2000s and
their aggressive structural form of the Japanese economy to find
continuous growth like this, and this bears out the positive verdict
that the IMF were beginning to give on Abenomics a couple of months ago.
What about the long-term issues, taking the debt issue to begin with.
250% of GDP. Are they doing enough to sort that out? It is difficult
for the Japanese government. This is a massive debt overhang and they
need to sort this out, and they have controversially tried to begin the
process of putting up VAT and to concentrate on fiscal consolidation
and that is controversial at a time when they also trying to get
inflation into the economy and get up and prices up. It is difficult
for him -- and get wages up. The majority of the domestic debt is
domestic, they are borrowing from themselves rather than international
markets, the Japanese government won't want to lose their focus on
the longer term, but it will be a continuing problem for them. If that
seem to like a big problem to deal with, the ageing population is more
complex, because the risk that they face if the number of people aged 65
and over get close to 40%, you have people were lying on the state
pension system and fewer people proportionally paying into the
system. This is the biggest problem Japan has to face in the long-term,
they need to bring more women into the workforce and the government has
committed to do this. This means probably bringing more immigrants
into the country, Japan has a very selective policy when it comes to
immigration. But they are prepared to bite the bullet and bring workers
in from abroad and it means people working much longer. We are seeing a
growth in older workers working longer into what we think of as
pensionable age, but these demographics are a long-term issue
for the Japanese to address. Thanks for joining us.
Let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news.
The chief executive of Australia's largest bank is to retire following
Ian Narev has been head of Commonwealth Bank since 2011
but civil charges accuse the lender of breaching financing rules.
Those claims have wiped billions of dollars off
Narev is expected to step down in June next year.
After weeks of public disagreement, the UK's
Finance Minister Phillip Hammond and the country's Trade Secretary
Liam Fox have written a joint article for the Sunday Telegraph,
stating that Britain will need a transition deal when it
The pair say that any deal would be "time limited" and should not be
viewed as a "back door" to staying in the EU.
Bitcoin is hovering above the $4,000 mark after surging past
Bloomberg reports it has soared on growing optimism faster
transaction times will hasten the spread of the cryptocurrency.
Facebook is reported to have launched a photo-sharing app
According to the New York Times, the social media giant
which is banned in mainland China has launched an app called
It's thought to have been released through a local company
Let's find out more, Karishma Vaswani, our Asia business
They have launched it, no branding so there is no real connection with
Facebook, why was Facebook banned in the first place? As you know, the
social media websites in general in China have been banned because of
strict internet censorship rules and the tight control China places on
their citizens and what they can access, but there's been no
confirmation from about this story. But the New York Times and other
media reported that Facebook said this launch was something they
okayed. You know what this is, basically it is a photo sharing
website. In China Facebook is banned, like many other forms of
social media, including Twitter. This app which is called Colourful
Balloons feels a bit like Facebook it doesn't carry the Facebook name
or the logo. It was released in China by a company, but all the
Facebook spokesman has said is that they are interested in China and
they are spending time in understanding and learning more
about the company. You know that I use Facebook because we have shared
some funny in stories. It's Monday, the start
of a new trading week, but the same issue is what's
weighing on markets. Asian numbers down as those worries
remain over the war of words between the United States
and North Korea. That was enough to take the shine
off the better-than-expected The Dow Jones and the S 500
finished higher on Friday, but both had their second worst week
in 2017 last week - In Europe, markets remain pretty
quiet for the holidays - The same worries persist,
and no one is willing to call More on that in a moment,
but first let's head Stateside and Michelle has a look at what's
ahead on Wall Street Today. Geopolitical fears dominated
sentiment on Wall Street last week. Traders may find themselves busy
poring over the latest Retail sales figures, jobs data,
and the minutes from the most recent Fed meeting are all due out over
the coming days. On the corporate front,
keep an eye out for a host of high street names from The Gap,
Walmart, Home Depot and Target, all reporting their latest
earnings figures. On Wednesday, US, Mexican
and Canadian officials meet in Washington DC for the first
round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement,
or "Nafta" for short. Investors will be watching that
for any signs of increased This Monday, Canadian Foreign
Minister Chrystia Freeland will testify to a
parliamentary committee. She is expected to discuss
the government's negotiating Justin Urquhart-Stewart is with us,
of Seven Investment Management. The nick a is down almost 1%,
shrugging off the rather dramatic improvement for the Japanese
economy. Yes, some very good figures for the Japanese economy, Abenomics
is beginning to work, but we have the issue of career and that will be
covering all markets at the moment -- the issue of Korea. The United
States just ignored it last week, though, and they just went up. We
will be waiting for the next stage of this, but the markets are at low
volatility, low volume, the middle of the summer, but this is when you
could get some volatility coming in and people need to be prepared. Is
it time to take some risk of an take some money off the table? -- and. We
spoke about this last week, people are maybe watching North Korea not
the market itself and this is where we could see a correction. You think
about the amount which has come back already, pretty small, but it would
take so little for a change. The fact that the United States are
heading for a debt ceiling again, they have not had a budget proved
and I can't get any -- they can't get any tax deals through, and then
you have North Korea, so the investors are being more defensive
and if people want to take some cash off the table, nothing wrong with
that, it is moments like this, you can take some profit and then you
can use the volatility to your advantage. You mentioned North Korea
and the stand-off between the United States and Pyongyang. The markets in
the United States were not that bothered about it last week. That is
right. It completely ignored it, and what they were looking at there was
the domestic figures which were not bad, and we had figures regarding
inflation and that was looking fairly docile, as well, and there
was one big issue which was the issue regarding interest rates. If
they aren't going to go up as much as before, that was better news for
the market and that overrode North Korea. Justin, thanks for joining
us. We will see you later to go through the newspapers.
Some is not over yet. Even if you have not been on your holiday, there
is time to go on one. After the break we will speak to the planner
of one hotel booking website who is hoping consumers will cut out the
middleman when it comes to booking their holiday.
You're with Business Live from BBC News.
British businesses have cut back on investment
plans as their confidence in the UK economy falters.
That's according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Their study shows business confidence for the third quarter
fell back into negative territory, reversing the gains made
Richard Holt is their Economic Advisor.
Has this reversal in confidence come about since
Clearly this has happened against the background of the general
election which introduced a great deal of uncertainty. Probably not
the only reason. The other thing which happened was the Brexit
negotiations began and continued to be rather unpersuasive and that
worried companies, as well, there was also growing anxiety about the
possibility of interest rate rises and I think probably a combination
of those three together is what is behind this decline.
Back in June London's businesses were starting to feel more
optimistic, what has changed since then? It's those factors. It's the
uncertainty over the domestic political situation, hopefully now
resolved. Its concerns about what the Brexit deal will be when it will
take place, and people are starting to worry about interest rates. That
last thing is perhaps fading away but clearly the EU issue isn't going
to disappear for the next two or three years. Thank you.
On the website, Scottish salmon exports have reached record value of
?346 million in the first half of this year. That is 70% higher
compared to the same period last year. The industry saw 29,000 tonnes
of fresh salmon sold in the second period of this year alone. The
biggest market for them is the United States, while China is the
most significant buyer in Asia. Much more on the website.
You're watching Business Live - our top story.
Japan records its sixth straight quarter of economic growth, fuelled
But the world's third largest economy still faces financial
hurdles, like a ballooning debt pile and prolonged deflation.
A quick look at how markets are faring.
Now, many of you may be about to head off on holiday, if so,
there's a good chance that you may have used a third-party
In fact, a study by Cornell University suggests that
three-quarters of all hotel bookings were made through online
travel agents such as Expedia or Booking.com.
While this can be an efficient way to compare hotel
prices within a city, holiday-makers may lose out
on special offers granted to people booking directly with the hotel,
this could include perks like free-wifi or free online check-in.
And for hotel chains, third party booking websites remove
the ability to offer a customised experience which would otherwise
With us is Hotelchamp's chief executive officer
I see the benefit of the King with a hotel directly because you can get
some of those added perks. But if it's cheaper to do it through a
third party I'm probably going to do it through a third-party. You're
right about that. What we saw in the old days is that hoteliers sometimes
charge higher prices on their own website rather than on a booking
platform like Booking.com. Luckily we see a trend that hoteliers are
more aware that they should create a level playing field where prices are
the same. But still able to offer extra services or added value.
There's a trade-off. By putting yourself on a third-party site you
open yourself up to many more people who might not necessarily have heard
about you. If I put myself on Expedia or Booking.com to get a
bigger audience, but you say they don't really need to do that any
more, we are better at shopping around? You are definitely better
off shopping around. Hoteliers are very good at giving hospitality
within the hotel. But they've been struggling to bring the same
hospitality to their website, for example. This is where we come in.
We help hotels to give the same hospitality level to the website as
they do in the hotel. What we are trying to do is to bridge the gap
when it comes to information from the hotelier to their website
visitors. Quite often the hotelier can give you a better service if he
knows what you're up to, and he can give you that by having this
information. It's an interesting time to be going into the hotel
industry, because when I go away, I tend to look for hotels, but a lot
of my friends say they book through Airbnb. Is there still a robust
business model for hotels in the traditional sense? The hospitality
industry is growing tremendously. I think Airbnb is fulfilling a need
that people like to have another experience. Hospitality is all about
experience. What we see is that in the current model, where online has
such a dominant position, guests don't get the right experience nor
the right service level, letter in the value for money they would have
got if the middleman hadn't had such a dominant position that they
currently have. I can see the benefit of a hotel chain using your
site, they can speak to their customers directly, they know who
they are, what type of room they want, all those sorts of things. But
from a traveller 's point of view, what difference does it really make?
The convenience of a third-party site means you've suddenly got a
whole array of hotels to book from. Yes. There are maybe two things to
say to that. First of all, extensive research shows that most people do
look around on the booking platforms, but still the majority
goes directly to the hotel website for more information. The
interesting fact is 99% of those people will leave that website
without making a booking because they don't trust it or they don't
get the right information, or they believe they will get a better deal
elsewhere. HotelChamp is offering that to their guests and maybe even
offering them a better deal. The convenience of the booking platforms
looks great from a consumer perspective. Let's assume you go on
a trip for a weekend to Barcelona, maybe you paid ?200 for a two night
stay in a hotel. The current commission model, you easily pay
close to ?50 on that booking. This is what the hotelier pays the third.
Imagine what an experience or better deal be hotelier could give you if
this middleman didn't have such a dominant position. You make your
money from winds and the software? Exactly. Thank you for talking us
through it. -- you make your money from licensing the software.
70 years ago, Britain ended its rule over India
and the country was divided into two separate states.
Partition brought about the largest mass movement of people in history,
but what has become of the economies of Pakistan and India?
Since partition, India and Pakistan have taken different economic paths.
India's economy was bigger than Pakistan from the start, because of
the size of its population and because of the fact it inherited
financial and government institutions. Today, India's economy
is almost eight times bigger than its neighbours. But what's
interesting is that during the first 50 years, both nations saw similar
economic growth. The average income per person in Pakistan was higher
than in India during this period. But, since the start of the
21st-century, India's economy started to grow faster, widening the
gap. This is largely down to economic reforms in India in the
1990s when it opened its markets for foreign and private investments.
Today, India and Pakistan are the largest economies in South Asia.
Trade between the two countries is thriving and estimated to be close
to $5 billion. Experts say that if this trade was formalised, the total
bilateral trade between the two countries could touch $10 billion
every year. We picked up this story in the
papers, SnapChat who is in permanent decline because other companies are
stealing its business. When it came to the market it was really rather
expensive. Almost from day one it was cursed. We've seen the share
price go down and we can hear the mutterings from Facebook and others,
they can take away their meal any time they like. This is because the
scale of Facebook is absolute. It's something they like, a little
start-up, it's just the concept. It's not necessarily the
intellectual property but the idea of sticking a filter on a video. The
trouble is, anyone else coming in and doing that, Facebook can easily
copy that as well. This is going to be the strength of these large
operations, the same with Google. It will be difficult to come up against
them and protect yourself. This is the point when the regulators are
talking about getting involved, they have so much power they are
effectively Monopoly players. You almost go back to the American trust
system in the 19th century. You had these huge steel conglomerates that
had to be broken up, and oil companies as well. That's where you
saw these other American oil companies coming up. They become
almost ubiquitous, they are effectively running monopolies. It's
interesting to see that no one is breaking them up at the moment but
at some stage, yes, the law is going to catch up with them and say you're
operating as a monopoly. Do you SnapChat? No. I'm going to wait for
it to go bust! Thank you.