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Gender equality in the workplace could add $4.3 trillion (£3 trillion) to the US economy by 2025, a study has found.

The McKinsey Global Institute conducted the research showing more female employment would boost the economy.

It found $2.1 trillion could be added if the country raised its female employment ratio from 64% to 74%.

Gender inequality is a pressing human issue, but also has huge ramifications for jobs, productivity, GDP growth, and inequality, the report said.

The report says 6.4 million new jobs would need to be added to the US, on top of the 10 million already projected to be added by 2025, just to reach the $2.1 trillion target. That would require businesses and local governments to invest $475 billion.



The latest news for trade and manufacturing speaks volumes about the state of the UK economy: weak, unbalanced and highly dependent on continued low interest rates to keep it going.

This is not the way it was supposed to be. When George Osborne became chancellor six years ago he pledged a new growth model - one based on exports and humming factory output rather than debt-financed consumer spending.

Related: Weak industry data set to weigh on UK economic growth

The picture in the spring of 2016 is the opposite of what Osborne promised.

Manufacturing production in February fell by 1.1% on the month and was 1.8% lower than in the same month in 2015. It is below its previous peak reached in the first three months of 2008. Steel production was at its lowest level in seven years - and that was before Tata announced it was selling its UK concerns.

Trade is another horror story. Don't be fooled by the small fall in the monthly deficit between January and February. This only occurred because the January deficit was revised up to £5.2bn from a previously reported £3.5bn.

Related: Surprise slump in UK manufacturing - business live

The quarterly data provides a better guide to the underlying trend. The deficit in goods and services in the three months to February stood at £13.7bn, up £3.8bn on the previous quarter and the highest since the first three months of 2008, when the economy was about to plunge into recession.

For the time being, another period of falling output looks unlikely. The economy is clearly losing momentum but is being spared an outright recession because consumer demand is relatively robust. But that's only because interest rates have been pegged at 0.5% for the past seven years, making borrowing cheap.

So, here's the picture. Manufacturing is in a desperately poor state. Consumer demand is robust and cannot be met domestically. The trade deficit is widening. History suggests that this does not end well.



"The trends are a little bit on the downside and what is most concerning is that we see risks likely to high on the horizon and bigger. And those risks are the Chinese slowdown in growth, the low commodity prices for longer and the financial tightening we are seeing as a result of monetary policies across the globe producing this effect both on exchange rates and on monetary policies," Lagarde told the FOX Business Network's Maria Bartiromo about the state of the global economy.

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Lagarde weighed in specifically on the state of the US economy.

"We believe that having 50 million Americans living in poverty, 40% of whom actually have a job is not particularly satisfactory. And with growth being, not low, but not particularly high in the US You know north of 2% is okay but it is not great," said Lagarde.

Lagarde then discussed how raising the minimum wage could potentially boost US economic growth.

And with the job market where it is we believe that it's time to actually look at those minimum wage issues with a view to increasing growth, with a view to producing a demand effect in the short term and hopefully supporting the economy," Lagarde said.



It looks from my perch like global equity markets have sharply decoupled from both fundamentals and the real economy.

Whats even more surprising to me is the growing acceptance of that divergence, with financial-asset prices rising even as economic headwinds multiply.