Halloween in the US, a job for life in China and opium fields in Afghanistan all feature in this week’s round up…
The minimum revenue generated by 1,200 haunted houses in America over the Halloween season. The opening of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion in 1969 revived the popularity of these attractions. One house, Netherworld in Atlanta, Georgia, is home to 300 animatronic figures.
The area in Afghanistan under cultivation for opium. This is 10% greater than the area in 2014. According to the UN, opium production in Afghanistan was up 43% in 2015.
The number of applicants for a civil service receptionist job in China. Working for the China Democratic League - one of several minority political parties in the country with limited powers - isn’t a particularly prestigious placement but a government job is still seen as attractive because of stability. In China, it is known as eating from an ‘iron rice bowl’ because your source of income and feeding your family is unbreakable.
The rate at which coffee consumption in the US is anticipated to increase by every year until 2020. The International Coffee Organization (ICO) says as the nation becomes more caffeinated it is outstripping demand growth in the rest of the world. The need for the bean is expected to stress supply chains that start in Asia and Africa, where producers have struggled to cope in recent seasons with coffee diseases, rising temperatures and drought. By 2020, the ICO estimates global demand will reach 160 million bags, up from production of roughly 143 million bags.
Estimated cost of bailing out South Korea’s struggling shipping and shipbuilding companies. The International Monetary Fund said while it would be costly it would pay for itself in the medium term. In a working paper it estimates the cost of a debt restructure would be around $27bn, but said that would be offset by more rapid output growth and increased employment.
Management consultants at McKinsey & Company expect the US parcel market to double in the next nine years, with same-day delivery and instant delivery accounting for one-fifth of increased demand. They outline their findings in Parcel delivery. The Future of Last Mile, which analysed survey responses from more than 4,700 consumers in the US, Germany and China.
The amount by which Australian government spending on transport infrastructure in the past 15 years has overrun forecasts, according to a think tank. A report by the Grattan Institute Cost analysed 836 projects valued at $20m or more and found that cost “blowouts” or overruns accounted for nearly a quarter of spending on these deals.
Anticipated increase in cargo volumes over the next year as a result of $5.4bn widening of the Panama Canal to enable passage to far larger vessels. The update of the waterway has prompted more direct competition with the Suez Canal, which is now apparently offering toll discounts to carriers for advance bookings.