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Sluggish Productivity Growth Holding Back World’s Economies

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Africa Business

Slowdown in Productivity Felt Across the Globe in 2012, Little Improvement Projected for 2013


NEW YORK, Jan., 2013 /PRNewswire/ — For the second straight year, productivity growth weakened substantially across the globe in 2012, according to a new report from The Conference Board. The 2013 Productivity Brief, based on data from The Conference Board Total Economy Database™, reports that productivity grew by 1.8 percent worldwide in 2012, down from 2.3 percent in 2011 and 3.6 percent in 2010. With the exception of the 2008–9 recession, this represents the slowest productivity growth in a decade.

Labor productivity growth — that is, additional output per unit of labor — relates output growth to changes in the employment market. In 2012, world GDP growth fell to 3.1 percent from 3.8 percent in 2011, while employment growth fell only slightly from 1.4 to 1.3 percent. “What makes this year’s Brief so unique is that poor productivity performance has been so widespread that there are very few countries or regions in 2012 that showed any productivity improvement at all,” said The Conference Board Chief Economist Bart van Ark. “Facing slow global demand, companies are using labor and capital less efficiently, in turn forcing further cutbacks.”

Productivity growth is expected to remain anemic — 1.9 percent — this year.

“In 2013 and beyond, productivity will be key to the performance of the global economy,” van Ark said. “Even if labor markets recover more strongly than predicted, GDP growth is unlikely to accelerate past projections without a turnaround that makes jobs more productive, rather than simply more numerous. The situation is clearly resonant in The Conference Board CEO Challenge® 2013, our recent global survey that found CEOs intensely focused on the internal capabilities of their organizations. For such business leaders, the urgency of the productivity challenge means investing in the training, innovation, and operational excellence necessary to shape a more efficient workforce.”

Stagnant Output Undermining Productivity of Mature Economies

On average, the productivity slowdown across the advanced economies in 2012 was to a much greater extent attributable to declining output growth, rather than labor market performance.

In the United States, total hours worked grew 2 percent in 2012, doubling the previous year’s 1 percent growth. This renewed traction in the labor market was offset, however, by GDP growth that only rose from 1.8 to 2.2 percent. As a result, labor productivity growth fell dramatically to 0.2 percent —one of the slowest growth rates observed in the post-World War II period. Output per hour grew slower than 2012’s 0.2 percent just twice: in 1974 (-1.0 percent) and 1982 (-0.8 percent).

In the Euro Area, output and total hours worked both contracted in 2012. With the former decline outstripping the latter, growth in labor productivity in 2012 fell to 0.6 percent from 1.2 percent in 2011. At 2.3 percent, Spain posted the highest labor productivity growth within the currency bloc, driven by a large contraction (−3.7 percent) in hours worked. In Greece, at the other extreme, labor productivity fell at −1.3 percent. In Germany and France, the productivity growth rates also fell considerably in 2012. In Germany, output per hour increased 0.4 percent, down from 1.6 percent in 2011, and in France it dropped to −0.2 percent down from 1.4 percent in 2011.

Conditions in the wider European Union-27 largely mirrored those of the smaller 17-member bloc. Some Eastern and Central European economies were exceptions: Labor productivity in Poland grew 2.2 percent in 2012 and, with output per hour still just 38.7 percent that of the U.S., maintains substantial scope for improvement. In the United Kingdom, by contrast, a much larger than anticipated GDP contraction, coupled with stable increases in hours worked, turned labor productivity growth dramatically negative in 2012, at −1.3 percent. Output per hour worked in the U.K. now stands at just 80 percent of the U.S. level, some 10 percentage points lower than its French and German rivals.

In Japan, tepid recovery from the March 2011 tsunami — both GDP and total hours worked grew just 0.6 percent — left productivity growth stalled at 0 percent.

Silver Linings Harder to Find in Emerging Economies

In recent years, stagnant gains in the mature economies offered an opening for other economies to rapidly make up productivity gulfs that remains yawning in absolute terms. In 2012, however, emerging and developing economies — where labor productivity growth fell from 4.7 to 3.8 percent — contributed as much to the overall slowdown as their mature counterparts.

China still boasts among the largest productivity gains in the world. But after falling from 8.8 to 7.4 percent (largely on the basis of slowing GDP growth), labor productivity growth in 2012 was the lowest since 1999. As China maneuvers to climb the value chain, incremental efficiency gains will likely be harder to come by than the previous decade; the next leap will require investments in technology and innovation that take a significantly longer time to come to fruition. Likewise driven by slowing output growth as well as unique structural challenges, labor productivity in India grew at the slowest rate since 2002, falling to 3.7 percent in 2012 from 4.2 percent in 2011 (and 6.2 percent in 2010).

The only region in Asia — or, indeed, the world — to see widespread productivity acceleration in 2012 was the ASEAN countries in Southeast Asia, where strengthening domestic sectors offset the global slowdown in exports. Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam all saw labor productivity growth rates rise. Indonesia experienced a minor slowdown to 4.2 percent, still historically high.

A dramatic slowdown continued in Latin America, where labor productivity grew at just 1.2 percent in 2012, down from 2 percent in 2011 and 3.1 percent in 2010. Sputtering global demand has revealed serious underlying weaknesses in Brazil, where deteriorating output turned the productivity growth rate negative (−0.3 percent), compared to 4.1 percent in 2010. Mexico has held up much better; though its labor productivity growth fell to 0.7 percent in 2012, the decline was predicated on stable output growth and rapid expansion of employment.

Weakening oil prices and continued political unrest also slowed productivity growth in much of the Middle East. Meanwhile, labor productivity across Africa grew a modest 0.8 percent in 2012, tamped down by rapidly expanding workforces in many countries. In Russia, the growth rate fell slightly from 3.8 to 3.4 percent in 2012. Because employment only grew 0.3 percent, most of Russia’s output growth last year was driven by productivity gains.

Searching for a More Productive 2013?

At 1.9 percent, the Productivity Brief projects labor productivity growth will be nearly unchanged overall in 2013 – but rest on a slightly reordered constellation of regional trends. U.S. labor productivity should rise slightly, from 0.2 to 0.6 percent, while the Euro Area moves in precisely the opposite direction, from 0.6 to 0.2 percent. Within Europe, last year’s large discrepancies between countries are projected to narrow: Productivity will likely be flat in the U.K., with positive gains returning to France (0.2 percent) and ticking up in Germany (0.8 percent). But Spain’s impressive productivity growth is expected to plummet to 0.4 percent in 2013, as continued GDP contraction meets a labor market already pared to the bone.

Meanwhile, productivity growth is poised to soften further in China and, especially, India — where gains in labor productivity may fall to just 2.9 percent. Brazil’s situation remains fraught, but a modest strengthening of output combined with more cautious hiring plans should return Brazilian labor productivity to positive growth in 2013, at perhaps 1.2 percent. Likewise, the struggling Turkish economy is projected to see productivity growth improve from 1.0 to 1.6 percent, because of a labor market likely to decelerate even faster than GDP. Surprisingly, it may be Africa that offers the best hope in 2013 for substantial productivity gains driven by strong, accelerating output growth; several countries in the region — the world’s least productive in absolute terms — are positioned for burgeoning exports to other emerging markets and a rising middle-class consumer segment at home.

See 2013 Productivity Brief: Key Findings for additional data and detailed analysis at

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

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World Vision Highlighted at Clinton Global Initiative for Providing Clean Drinking Water in West Africa with P&G Water Purification Packets

Posted on 28 September 2012 by Africa Business


SEATTLE, Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — At the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton highlighted a new partnership between World Vision and the Procter & Gamble (P&G) Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) Program to provide clean drinking water to 2.3 million people impacted by the drought and famine in West Africa.



Pictured from left to right: Kevin Jenkins, President of World Vision International; Greg Allgood, P&G CSDW; President Clinton; Bob McDonald, P&G CEO; Marc Pritchard, P&G BBO; Curtis Welling, AmeriCares CEO. (PRNewsFoto/World Vision U.S.)


World Vision and other aid organizations are working on the ground to provide food, but without clean water, children are at high risk of dying from dehydration.  One million children are at risk and need immediate emergency response.  World Vision will respond using the P&G water purification packets in Chad, Mali, Ghana, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.  The P&G packets utilize a powder technology developed by P&G that removes contaminants from water while killing viruses and bacteria.  The powder is manufactured in small packets that purify 10 liters of contaminated water, creating enough clean water for one family for an entire day.

President Clinton highlighted the work in describing P&G’s efforts to scale up the CSDW program to save one life every hour in the developing world by providing 2 billion liters of clean drinking water every year.  World Vision and other partners will provide nearly 35 million P&G water purification packets in order to provide 350 million liters of clean drinking water making this the largest single response to date for the P&G CSDW Program that began in 2004 responding to the South East Asia tsunami and has now provided a total of 5 billion liters of clean drinking water.

“No other humanitarian intervention has a more dramatic effect on children and families than access to clean water and sanitation,” said Kevin Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of World Vision International. “We are deeply grateful for P&G’s response to the current situation in West Africa where millions are impacted by famine, drought and cholera. P&G continues to support the life-saving work we do.”

“I’ve seen first-hand the impact of drought and famine on children and it breaks your heart,” said Dr Greg Allgood, director of the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program. “P&G is extremely grateful that World Vision is on-the-ground right now providing millions of the P&G water purification packets in order to save the lives of children in the Sahel.”

World Vision has partnered with P&G around the world providing nearly 1 billion liters (800 million) of clean drinking water.  The humanitarian organization responds to urgent clean water needs with P&G water purification packets and also digs wells and boreholes to sustain communities long term.

SOURCE World Vision U.S.

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Hausse mondiale des tarifs hôteliers dans toutes les régions

Posted on 04 September 2012 by Africa Business


French (Acrobat Reader .pdf)

LONDRES, le septembre 2012/PRNewswire/ — Selon le dernier Hotel Price Index d’, la relance du secteur hôtelier s’est accélérée avec une hausse de 4 % au cours du premier semestre 2012, mais les tarifs moyens demeurent au même niveau qu’en 2005

Selon le dernier Hotel Price Index[TM] (HPI®) d’®, pour la première fois en cinq ans, les voyageurs ont payé davantage en moyenne pour leurs chambres d’hôtel au cours du premier semestre 2012 dans toutes les parties du monde. Cette hausse mondiale de 4 %, comparativement à la même période de l’année précédente, a démontré que la relance économique de l’industrie hôtelière a été bien établie.

(Logo :

Pour consulter la version multimédia de ce communiqué de presse, veuillez cliquer sur le lien suivant :

L’indice affiche un score de 108 pour cette période, ce qui signifie que malgré cette dernière hausse, les tarifs hôteliers étaient encore en général plus faibles qu’au premier semestre 2007, lorsque le score de l’HPI avait atteint son sommet de 119.
Lancé en 2004, l’indice HPI prend en compte les prix réels payés pour des chambres d’hôtel dans le monde entier. Au cours du premier semestre 2012, les prix ont augmenté dans toutes les régions du monde, de 6 % dans la région Pacifique, de 5 % en Amérique du Nord et de 4 % en Asie, tandis que l’Amérique latine, l’Europe et le Moyen-Orient ont affiché une trajectoire plus lente, avec une augmentation de 1 %.

David Roche, président d’, a déclaré : « L’industrie hôtelière a rebondi au premier semestre de cette année et après une série de crises naturelles et politiques en 2011, il est encourageant d’observer de la croissance dans ce secteur. Même si à première vue, cela peut paraître une mauvaise nouvelle pour les consommateurs, les tarifs hôteliers demeurent à peu près au même niveau qu’en 2005, ce qui représente une grande valeur pour les voyageurs, alors que les salaires et les autres prix ont considérablement augmenté. »

Après les turbulences du Printemps arabe début 2011, la confiance est revenue dans la plupart des pays du Moyen-Orient et d’Afrique du Nord et les tarifs hôteliers ont augmenté en conséquence.

Cela a également été le cas en Asie, alors que les Japonais ont recommencé à voyager après le tumulte du tremblement de terre, du tsunami et de la catastrophe nucléaire en mars 2011, mais d’autres facteurs sont également entrés en jeu. L’augmentation significative du nombre de voyageurs internationaux chinois a contribué à la hausse des prix et l’expansion des compagnies aériennes à bas prix dans la région, comme Peach Aviation et Scoot, a également favorisé le secteur du voyage.

Aux États-Unis, la hausse des voyages d’affaires et des dépenses de consommation a été synonyme de taux d’occupation plus importants dans les hôtels, avec moins de remises nécessaires. Dans la région Pacifique, l’essor des ressources en Australie a eu un impact direct sur la hausse des tarifs, en particulier en Australie-Occidentale, où les voyageurs d’affaires internationaux ont dû rivaliser avec des cadres de l’industrie minière pour trouver des chambres d’hôtel.

Même si les tarifs ont globalement augmenté en Europe, les résultats ont présenté un tableau contrasté. Les prix ont notamment baissé dans certaines parties de la zone euro, où le recul de la confiance des consommateurs et du pouvoir d’achat a donné lieu à des taux d’occupation plus faibles dans les grandes villes et les destinations de vacances populaires.

David Roche a ajouté : « Le premier semestre 2012 s’est avéré être un début prometteur pour la plupart des hôtels. Cependant, la deuxième partie de l’année sera intéressante à observer, en raison d’indicateurs économiques de plus en plus mitigés. Notre Hotel Price Index sert de guide régulier utile aux consommateurs, les aidant à connaître les destinations où ils peuvent tirer le meilleur parti de leur budget de voyage, quelles que soient les influences externes affectant les prix. »

Pour obtenir un exemplaire complet du rapport HPI (en direct à partir de 5h BST le 4 septembre 2012), des graphiques et la vidéo de l’interview de David Roche d’, rendez-vous à l’adresse :

À propos d’
Membre du groupe Expedia, Inc., lui-même présent sur tous les marchés clés,, LP référence près de 155 000 hôtels, Bed and Breakfasts et locations de vacances de qualité à travers le monde., LP est doté de l’une des plus grandes équipes de passation de contrats hôteliers du secteur, négociant les meilleurs tarifs pour ses clients. De plus, le site contient plus de 6,5 millions d’avis de voyageurs qui ont séjourné dans les hôtels référencés, permettant de garantir un choix informé au moment de la réservation. Les voyageurs peuvent effectuer leurs réservations en ligne ou en contactant l’un de ses centres d’appels multilingues., Hotel Price Index, HPI et le logo sont des marques déposées ou enregistrées d’, LP aux États-Unis et/ou dans d’autres pays. Toutes les autres marques de commerce appartiennent à leurs propriétaires respectifs. © 2012, LP. Tous droits réservés.

Source :
E-mail :; tél. : +44(0)207-019-2428

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Global Hotel Prices Rise in All Regions

Posted on 04 September 2012 by Africa Business


Recovery in the hospitality sector gathered speed with a 4% increase in the first half of 2012 but average prices remain at 2005 level, says new Hotel Price Index

LONDON, September 4th, 2012, PR Newswire – For the first time in five years, travellers paid more on average for their hotel rooms during the first six months of 2012 in all parts of the world, according to the latest® Hotel Price Index TM (HPI®). The global 4% rise, compared to the same period the year before, demonstrated that the economic recovery in the hotel industry was well-established.

The Index stood at 108 for this period meaning that, despite the latest increase, hotel prices in general were still considerably lower than in the first half of 2007 when the HPI was at its peak of 119.

Launched in 2004, the HPI looks at prices that people actually paid for their hotel rooms around the world. During the first six months of 2012, prices rose across the board with Pacific rates up 6%, North America up 5% and Asia up 4% while Latin America as well as Europe and the Middle East experienced a slower trajectory, up 1%.

David Roche, President,, said: “The hotel industry bounced back in the first half of this year from a number of natural and political crises in 2011 and it is encouraging to see growth in the sector. While initially it may not seem good news for consumers, hotel prices are still only around their 2005 level, representing great value for travellers when both wages and other prices have risen considerably.”

Following the turmoil of the Arab Spring in early 2011, confidence returned to much of the Middle East and North Africa and hotel prices rose accordingly.

The same was true in Asia as the Japanese began to travel again after the turbulence of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in March 2011 but there were other factors at play here as well. The significant increase in the number of Chinese international travellers helped to drive rates higher and expansion by the region’s low cost carriers, such as Peach Aviation and Scoot, also boosted travel.

In the US, increasing business travel combined with higher consumer spending meant hotels were busier with less need for discounting. In the Pacific, the resources boom in Australia meant that space was at a premium, particularly in Western Australia with international business visitors vying with mining executives for rooms.

Although rates rose as a whole in Europe, the results showed a mixed picture. One of the areas where prices dropped was in parts of the Eurozone where falling consumer confidence and spending power led to lower occupancy in the major cities and holiday hotspots.

David Roche said: “The first six months of 2012 have proved a promising start for most hotels. However, the second half of the year, with increasingly mixed economic signals, will be interesting to watch. What our regular Hotel Price Index gives consumers is a good guide as to where they can make the most of their travel budget, no matter what outside influences are impacting prices.”

For a full copy of the HPI report (live from 05:00 hrs BST 4th September 2012), graphics and video interview with’s David Roche go to:

Alternatively, email or
call +44(0)207-019-2428

As part of the Expedia, Inc. group, which operates in all major markets,, LP offers almost 155,000 hotels, B&Bs and serviced apartments worldwide., LP benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry obtaining the best rates for its customers, plus there are more than 6.5 million reviews from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers make an informed choice when booking. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centres., Hotel Price Index, HPI, and the Logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of, LP in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2012, LP. All rights reserved.

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Welding Equipment and Consumables for the Power Industry: Frost & Sullivan Predicts Global Market Growth

Posted on 15 August 2012 by Africa Business


Surging conversions to renewable power sources propel the growth of welding equipment and consumables from the industry

LONDON, Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The welding equipment and consumables market in the global power industry witnessed a decline of 21.5% during the global financial crisis in 2009. However, the market has continued to grow since 2010 with the increasing number of investments into renewable power sources, which have fuelled the need for new projects.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Analysis of the Global Welding Equipment and Consumables Market for the Power Industry, finds that the market earned revenues of $445.5 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $578.7 million in 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.8%.

Asia Pacific is expected to have the largest growth prospective over the forecast period, owing to the vast number of ongoing and proposed projects in China and India. SAW equipment and SAW wires and fluxes are expected to have the largest demand – particularly in the wind sector – while the large numbers of thermal projects are expected to propel the growth of the GTAW and SMAW equipment, along with stick electrodes and solid wires.

“The market has continued to improve in 2010, particularly from the growing economies, – comments Ruth Shilpa Sudhakar, Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. – However, emerging economies like China and India witnessed the lowest adoption of advanced technologies such as SAW and GTAW. As the cost of SAW and GTAW is higher than the largely used SMAW in the region, this was a growth limiting factor and is expected to continue driving this trend over the forecast period.”

In addition, Government investments in the power industries and foreign direct investments (FDI) in the wind and thermal sectors – particularly in Africa, China and India – are expected to drive the welding equipment and consumables market by 2017. The growing demand has also led to a rise in emerging technologies, such as corrosion resistant consumables that provide better productivity and thus cost reductions.

The main restraint of the global welding equipment and consumables market in the power industry is the delay in nuclear power projects, due to the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami of March 2011. The rebounds of these projects are expected to happen sooner in the Asia Pacific region than in Europe and North America, where they are expected in the long term.

What’s more, the impact of the euro crisis has caused closure of projects in Europe. Fear of an expected recession in 2012 has therefore made end users more cautious on their expenditures, which has led to budget cuts on welding. These factors are expected to limit the growth of the welding equipment and consumables market over the forecast period.

“The slowdown of projects has invariably led to lower consumption of welding equipment and consumables market in 2009, – adds Sudhakar. – The same was witnessed in 2011 among the nuclear sector. End user industries are also becoming increasingly conservative on their expenditures due to the fear of a global downturn in 2012. This has caused budget cuts on welding and changing costs from high cost welding equipment such as SAW and GTAW to the low cost SMAW, GMAW, and flux cored wires to stick electrodes and solid wires.”

Product quality, suitability and customer support will be key decision making factors for the global welding equipment and consumables market in the power industry. While the safety requirements for nuclear industries are being revised, manufacturers are expected to provide state of the art equipment and consumables with the latest technology at affordable prices.

“Manufacturers are also expanding their distribution networks – particularly into emerging economies – to widen global foot print, as well as entering into acquisitions, – concludes Sudhakar. – This will help meet the large demand for welding equipment and consumables requirement for the power sectors in these regions.”

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email with your contact details to Anna Zanchi, Corporate Communications, at

World Arc Welding Equipment & Filler Metals Market is part of the Industrial Automation and Process Control Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: European Welding Consumables Market, Indonesian Welding Equipment and Consumables Market, Global Welding Market for Automotive Applications, Asian Resistance Welding Equipment and Consumables Market and Global Welding Automation Market. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

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Anna Zanchi
Corporate Communications – Europe
P: 0039 02 46514819


SOURCE Frost & Sullivan

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