The world is going procreation potty. British prime minister Tony Blair delighted everyone, as well as boosting his poll ratings, by announcing his wife's fourth pregnancy, while in Japan, the possible pregnancy of Princess Masako set off a frenzy of excitement. But it's not just the VIPs who are at it - all around the world baby production for the year 2000 is on the up.
Businesses were the first to note the trend. Procter & Gamble and Danone (nappies and baby food) have both reported a surge in business. Champagne houses have never been so bubbly. The symbolism of a new millennium has obviously got people thinking. Even the most rational demographic experts recognise the trend and its implications for the world of work. The year 2000 will be full of pregnant pauses.