Young spend three times more on housing than grandparents

Woman in small bedroomImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Young people are also living in smaller spaces, says the report

Young people in Britain are spending three times more on housing than their grandparents did, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank.

They also have to cope with less space and longer commutes to get to work.

While their parents typically bought their own home in their 30s, young people will soon have to wait until their 40s.

As a result, millennials are at the sharp end of Britain's "housing catastrophe", the report claims.

Those now in their 70s and 80s spent just 7% of their annual income on housing at the age of 30, it says.

The baby-boom generation - now in its 50s and 60s - spent 17% of income at the same age.

However, millennials - those now in their 20s and 30s - spend 23% of everything they earn on housing costs.


'Big danger'

The Resolution Foundation says youngsters are also living in smaller houses.

Since 1996, the average floor space occupied by someone under 45 has fallen by 4%.For those over that age, floor space has grown by 2%.

By the time the millennials reach the age of 40, they will each be spending an extra 64 hours a year commuting to work, compared with their parents, as they struggle to find housing they can afford.

"Britain's housing catastrophe has been 50 years in the making, but while its effects are widespread, it is millennials who are truly at the sharp end," said Lindsay Judge, one of the report's authors.

"The big danger today is that young people are having to settle for lower quality, longer commutes and less security in order to afford a place to live, despite spending a record share of their income of housing."

The Foundation - which campaigns for higher living standards - is calling on all the political parties to address the housing crisis....

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Tata and ThyssenKrupp 'agree' first stage of merger deal

Tata Steel in Port TalbotImage copyright Getty Images

Tata and German steel manufacturer ThyssenKrupp have agreed the first stage of a deal to merge, BBC Wales understands.

They have been in negotiations since last year when Tata withdrew from a sales process to sell its entire UK operations, including Port Talbot - the largest steel works in the UK.

Tata's £15bn pension scheme[1] had been a major sticking point.

But it is understood an announcement will be made early on Wednesday.

It follows an agreement with workers and the support of the pensions regulators, which means Tata has distanced itself to a large extent from its pensions liabilities.

That has made a deal more likely between the two companies.

Almost 7,000 people are employed by Tata Steel across Wales, including more than 4,000 in Port Talbot.

In April, unions expressed fears a merger would be "high risk"[2] and could lead to job josses.

IG Metall union, which represents metalworkers in Germany, is concerned the joint venture could pave the way for ThyssenKrupp to exit the steel business entirely....

References

  1. ^ £15bn pension scheme (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ a merger would be "high risk" (www.bbc.co.uk)

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US deficit rises to 2008 levels

Visitors and tourists ride a ferry toward Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty, August 8, 2017 in New York City.Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Foreign travel to the US increased in the second quarter, boosting US services

The US current account deficit, which is the broadest measure of US trade, rose to $123.1bn (£91bn) in the second quarter - its highest level since 2008.

The rising gap was driven by a $5.2bn fall in income receipts from foreigners, particularly in government fines and penalties.

The Commerce Department said exports of US goods also slipped, while US income from overseas investments shrank.

Donald Trump's administration has made reducing the deficit a focus.

The president maintains that persistent deficits have cost the US jobs.

But analysts say the deficit shows strong demand from foreigners for US investments, which can sustain American spending on foreign goods and the like.

"The current account deficit...is really not that worrying because the United States appears to have little difficulty attracting the net capital inflows that are needed to finance the red ink in the current account," wrote Jay Bryson, an economist at Wells Fargo.

The current account is often referred to as the difference between US public and private savings and investment.It measures the import and export of goods and services, as well as financial flows.

The US has run persistent deficits since the early 1990s.

In recent months, the gap has increased as higher oil prices raise import costs and foreigners see strong returns on US investments, Mr Bryson wrote.

The deficit amounted to 2.6% of GDP in the second quarter.That remains lower than in 2005, when the deficit totalled more than 6% of GDP....

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China orders Bitcoin exchanges in capital city to close

Chinese Yuan and BitcoinImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Chinese regulators have issued strict instructions on how Bitcoin exchanges should dismantle their operations

China is moving forward with plans to shut down Bitcoin exchanges in the country, starting with trading platforms in key cities.

All Bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai have been ordered to submit plans for winding down their operations by 20 September.

The move follows the Chinese central bank's decision to ban initial coin offerings[1] in early September.

Top exchange BTCC said it would stop trading[2] at the end of the month.

Chinese authorities decided to ban digital currencies as part of a plan for reducing the country's financial risks.

A website set up by the Chinese central bank warned that cryptocurrencies are "increasingly used as a tool in criminal activities such as money laundering, drug trafficking, smuggling, and illegal fundraising".

Strict instructions

According to a document leaked online by users on the social network Weibo[3] that was seen by Coindesk[4], Chinese regulators ordered all cryptocurrency exchanges in Beijing to stop registering new user registration by midnight local time on 15 September, and to notify users publicly when they formally close.

All exchanges are required to send regulators a detailed "risk-free" plan of how they intend to exit the market before 18:30 local time on Wednesday 20 September.

The regulator also ordered the exchanges to submit DVDs containing all user trading and holding data to the local authorities.

Shareholders, controllers, executives, and core financial and technical staff of exchanges are also required to remain in Beijing during the shutdown and to co-operate fully with authorities.

Being cautious

"China is shutting the exchanges down for good reasons - I think it's right they're being cautious at this time," Paul Armstrong, an emerging technology adviser and author of the book Disruptive Technologies[5], told the BBC.

"Bitcoin is by proxy unregulated and peer-to-peer, it's a very volatile currency."

However, Mr Armstrong does not think that this will be the end of Bitcoin in China for good.

"They're shutting it down for now, but it doesn't mean that in six months or so they won't create new Bitcoin regulations like Japan and Australia did[6]," he said.

"All the other countries have digital currencies and are making important decisions about it, so it doesn't make sense for China to dismiss it out of hand."

He added that China's decision could prompt Chinese investors to seek alternative options to digital currencies, such as moving out of the country and operating exchanges or Bitcoin mining pools in other regions....

References

  1. ^ ban initial coin offerings (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ it would stop trading (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ by users on the social network Weibo (www.weibo.com)
  4. ^ Coindesk (www.coindesk.com)
  5. ^ Disruptive Technologies (www.amazon.com)
  6. ^ like Japan and Australia did (www.ft.com)

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Microsoft Outlook issue fixed - BBC News

Microsoft graphicImage copyright Microsoft

Microsoft says that its Outlook email services have been fully restored, following problems which lasted several hours.

Many Outlook users were unable to send email or access their accounts.

Hundreds from around Europe commented on the website Downdetector[1] that they had been affected by the problem - many since Monday morning.

One common issue seemed to be that sent emails remained in the drafts folder and were not delivered to recipients.

On its website, Microsoft said the service dropped "unexpectedly" and it was working on a fix.

Not all account holders were affected.

"Intermittent connectivity is affecting customers in some European countries, which we are working to resolve as soon as possible," said a Microsoft representative.

Outlook incorporates Hotmail and Windows Live Hotmail accounts.

On its service status page[2], Microsoft said that an "alternate infrastructure" is being used while the service is restored.

"We've identified that a subset of infrastructure was unable to process requests as expected, which caused general service availability to drop unexpectedly," it says.

"We've redirected requests to alternate infrastructure to restore service, and we're monitoring the environment while connectivity recovers.

"Additionally, we're investigating an issue in which users are unable to send email messages."

In an updated statement, Microsoft now says services are "fully restored"....

References

  1. ^ Downdetector (downdetector.co.uk)
  2. ^ service status page (portal.office.com)

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