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Childcare Benefits Pay Off

A joint report from Moms First and Boston Consulting Group underscores the financial wins for United States employers investing in childcare benefits. The study reveals that companies see returns on investment ranging from 90 to 425 percent.

Drawing insights from nearly 1,000 employees across diverse industries including ecommerce, retail and hospitality, the report showcases the transformative impact of a wide array of childcare support strategies, including onsite facilities, drop-in care and stipends.

The report finds that retaining just one percent of eligible employees offsets the expense associated with the investment, challenging the prevailing notion that companies investing in this space make no return.

Beyond financial gains, the report unveils a noteworthy ripple effect on productivity and retention. By curbing absenteeism – the investment in child care is estimated to save employees over two weeks of missed work annually – childcare benefits are emerging as strategic tools in enhancing employee loyalty and organizational success.

With up to 86 percent of respondents saying they’re more likely to remain with their employer due to such benefits, the report heralds a paradigm shift in employer–employee dynamics, where investments in personal wellbeing drive economic return and talent retention.

Interest Rates Set To Drop

The central banks in many countries have been consistently raising official interest rates over the past 12 months in an effort to combat inflation. This has been good news for investors, but has proven to be a pain point for mortgage-holders and businesses.

However, change could be on the horizon. While interest rates are unlikely to change in the next month or two, HSBC Chief Economist Paul Bloxham says central banks in the major world economies such as the United States and the United Kingdom are expected to begin dropping their rates in the second half of the calendar year.

Across the seas, the European Central Bank is likely to start reducing rates in June, according to policymaker and former Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Gabriel Makhlouf.

Rate drops by these major banks will pave the way for others to follow, but Bloxham doesn’t expect any dramatic changes this year. “I think it’s probably more a proposition for 2025 that we should be thinking there’ll be rate cuts,” he said in a statement.

Exciting Crypto News

The value of Bitcoin is on the up, and some analysts are predicting that its future will remain bright for many months to come. Cryptocurrency, like any stock, currency or commodity, is affected by supply and demand, which can lead to dramatic fluctuations in price.

However, Bitcoin has a limited supply: only 21 million coins can ever be made. With 94 percent of them already in circulation, this means the currency’s value is more than likely to rise. In fact, Standard Chartered Bank predicts that it could rise to US$150,000 by the end of 2024.

It’s not just the scarcity of the cryptocurrency that is fueling this increase. The United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission has recently approved 11 new spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, which means that investors can buy Bitcoin directly rather than having to go through cryptocurrency exchanges.

Reducing this friction point means that the world of cryptocurrency investment is now much more accessible to the average investor.

While it’s never possible to know the future, Bitcoin’s previous performance has demonstrated its reliability within the cryptocurrency market. If Bitcoin continues on its current trajectory, Standard Chartered Bank is confident that the value could reach US$250,000 by 2025.

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