India growth rate slows; New Uber CEO suggests IPO; Millennials and the midlife crisis

1 India growth rate slows (BBC) India’s economy grew at its slowest pace for three years in the April-to-June quarter, official figures show. The economy grew by 5.7% compared with a year earlier, down from a rate of 6.1% in the previous quarter.

Many analysts had expected the economy to bounce back after the government’s crackdown on black market cash last year. However, confusion among some firms over a new tax on goods and services was blamed for holding back growth. Some retailers said ambiguous rules over the new sales tax, which began on 1 July, left them unsure over how to price their products.

But manufacturing saw the sharpest slowdown in growth, expanding at just 1.2% compared to 10.7% a year earlier. Growth in the financial, insurance, real estate and professional services sectors also slowed from 9.4% to 6.4%.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41111346

2 New Uber CEO suggests IPO (Straits Times) Uber Technologies’ new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi told employees the ride-services company would change its culture and may go public in 18 to 36 months.

Mr Khosrowshahi, who led travel-booking site Expedia for 12 years prior to joining Uber, made the remarks as he introduced himself to Uber’s workforce during an all-staff meeting at its San Francisco headquarters. His plans include rebuilding Uber’s culture and growing market share as well as possibly conducting an initial public offering in 18 to 36 months, according to people who attended the meeting.

It is common for venture capital-backed companies to signal an initial public offering at a vague time in the future. “This company has to change,” Mr Khosrowshahi told employees, according to the Twitter feed of Uber’s communications team. “What got us here is not what’s going to get us to the next level.”

The appointment of Mr Khosrowshahi, who described himself as “a fighter”, comes as Uber is trying to recover from a series of crises that culminated in the ouster of former CEO Travis Kalanick in June. It is also a key step towards filling a gaping hole in its top management that at the moment has no chief financial officer, head of engineering or general counsel.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/new-uber-ceo-drives-change-and-suggests-ipo

3 Millennials and the midlife crisis (Claire Suddath in Johannesburg Times) This month, two UK economists presented statistical proof for the existence of the midlife crisis. In a survey of 1.3 million people across 51 countries, they found that people report a measurable decline in happiness, starting in their 30s and continuing until around age 50, when they started to feel satisfied with their lives again.

“We’re seeing this U-shape, this psychological dip, over and over again. There is definitely a midlife low,” said Andrew Oswald, co-author of the study. Oswald’s co-author, David Blanchflower, adds: “I don’t know why some psychologists say it doesn’t exist. It’s blindingly obvious. All we did was plot the data points.”

The very idea of a midlife crisis originated in the early 1960s with a Canadian psychologist named Elliott Jaques. He was studying the creative habits of 310 famous artists such as Mozart, Raphael and Gaugin when he noticed a common trait: When the artists entered their mid-30s, their creative output waned. Some became depressed. A few committed suicide.

If anything, the dip recorded by Oswald and Blanchflower may simply be the statistical proof of what millennials are only starting to learn: “adulting” is hard.

https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/business/2017-08-31-millennials-youve-got-a-surprise-coming-the-midlife-crisis-exists/

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About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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