The Latest: Aging societies seen posing risks to economy

Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, from left, participate in a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A Swiss national flag waves in the wind on this year's last day of the World Economic Forum annual meeting, in Davos, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

DAVOS, Switzerland — The Latest on the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (all times local):

2:00 p.m.

Aging populations threaten to slow economic growth in the world's advanced economies and destabilize the banking system, the head of Japan's central bank told an annual gathering of elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

But Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said there were benefits, too: Faced with labor shortages as workers age and retire, employers are increasingly willing to hire women and to invest in labor-saving technology.

Thanks to a low birth rate, Japan's population peaked in 2010. Kuroda said the shortage of workers hobbles economic growth. Slow growth pushes interest rates down and tempts banks to make riskier loans in a search for higher returns, "potentially making the financial system less stable."

In response to the labor crunch, Japanese firms have been hiring more women. Earlier at the Davos summit, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe boasted that a record 67 percent of Japanese women either work or are looking for work, compared to just over 57 percent in the United States. Japanese firms have also aggressively invested in robotics and other forms of automation, raising productivity that feeds economic growth.

True, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde interjected, but "you can't replace the entire Japanese population with robots."


1:20 p.m.

World Bank chief Kristalina Georgieva urged the global elites to take a simple step to understand the urgency of combating climate change: "Get the picture of your children, your grandchildren in front of you."

Speaking on the last day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Georgieva warned that the potential "cost in terms of suffering is unmeasurable" if the world can't control a rise in temperatures.

She dismissed the idea that cutting emissions would hurt the economy, citing a study that found a rapid rise in temperatures could slash global economic output by 25 percent.

Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, said: "Rising temperatures will wipe out whole segments of economies."

The "new climate economy," by contrast, would create 65 million jobs, Georgieva said.

Must Read

Planned racing ad on sails of Sydney Opera House...

Oct 8, 2018

A plan to project a horse racing advertisement on the famed sails of the Sydney Opera House is...

Australia's largest banks may face prosecution...

Feb 4, 2019

Australia's largest banks may face prosecution after probe finds impunity toward widespread...

2 Australian bankers criticized by misconduct...

Feb 7, 2019

National Australia Bank CEO, chairman resign following criticism in scathing report on financial...

Australia plans to balance books in pre-election...

Apr 2, 2019

The Australian government has unveiled a plan to balance the national budget next year and pay off...

US says NAFTA talks are progressing very slowly

Jan 29, 2018

U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer says talks to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement are...

About Us

Banking Reporter is the largest-circulated online business news in the United States, bringing a whole new genre of business journalism more up close and more incisive.

Contact us: sales[at]

Subscribe Now!