Japan is officially back into recession as its economy shrank for the second consecutive period in the third quarter this year.
Japan’s economy – along with Italy- performs poorly in comparison with other G7 countries. In 2020 both economies are forecast to be just 20 per cent larger than they were in the in the 1990s, compared to the doubling of GDP in the US and Canada. Read more
Americans spent more than $1bn shopping from their desktops on Thanksgiving Day in 2014. But that was only half of what they spent the following Monday, dubbed ‘Cyber Monday’ for its exclusive online sales deals.
George Osborne, the UK chancellor, announced in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement the “biggest housebuilding programme since the 1970s”. This included 400,000 new affordable homes in England by 2020, a 3% stamp duty increase for buy-to-let and second home buyers, and a new help-to-buy scheme just for London. The measures are aimed at tackling the “crisis in home ownership in Britain”. Read more
UK finance minister George Osborne will outline the next round of cuts to public services today in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review. A number of countries have cut public spending as a share of GDP since 2010.France and Italy are two that have seen an increase
Ever since the Open Era began in 1968, we can identify the individuals and their periods of success. First came Laver, Rosewall and Newcombe; next was Borg’s reign, bookended by Connors, McEnroe and Lendl. Wilander and Becker ushered in the ’90s before giving way to Sampras and Agassi.
Federer, Nadal and now Djokovic have run the show since then, but there is no heir apparent. The average age of the ATP top 10 is 29.7 — the highest it has ever been — with an unprecedented five of its current members aged over 30. Read more
Global deaths from terrorism rose by 80 per cent in 2014 to 32,658, terrorism is highly concentrated in just five countries; Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, which accounted for 78 per cent of those deaths
This year’s report from the European Commission on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) shows that attracting customers remained the most pressing problem for firms in 2014, but less so than in previous years. The proportion of firms citing skilled staff and regulation as major problems has increased since 2011. Read more
The UK is phasing out its coal power plants. Over the past year generation from coal has fallen from 28 per cent to 21 per cent of the total. Wind and solar have taken up most of the slack, rising from 8 per cent to almost 15.
A weak euro is good news for eurozone exporters, especially Greece, Germany, Finland and Ireland, which rely on buyers outside the zone for over 60 per cent of goods exports. The Netherlands and Portugal, exporting mostly to eurozone neighbours are less likely to be affected
Marriott has announced the acquisition of rival Starwood. Both are among the top five largest hotel groups and the planned purchase would make the combined company the uncontested top global hotel player.
Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba accounted for 14 per cent of global retail sales value in 2015. That was a sharp rise from 1 per cent only five years ago. Amazon is still the biggest player, but its market share is only marginally higher than in 2010, while eBay lost ground.
The last time athletics was engulfed by doping concerns of the volume seen last week was the 1980s, when performance enhancing substances including testosterone were commonplace among elite competitors.
This doping dark age left a mark still visible today in the form of records set decades ago that are still yet to be broken – and in some cases yet even to be approached. Read more
Global cruise passengers topped 22 million last year according to the Cruise Lines International Association, up from 13 million ten years before. The majority are from North America, but the number of passengers grew faster in Europe and the rest of the world.
All ethnic minority groups in the UK are now significantly more likely to go to university than their white British counterparts. On average, amongst the cohort who sat their GCSEs in 2008, only one third of the white British population went to university in the academic year 2010-11 or 2011-12, compared to 75 per cent of ethnic Chinese pupils and 67 per cent of Indian students. Read more
The share of the Eurozone population reporting that the single currency is a good thing stood at 61 per cent in the latest annual survey from Eurobarometer, up 4 percentage points from the previous year, and compared with 45 per cent in 2007. This is the highest level since Eurobarometer started tracking support in 2002. Read more
India should be a good strategic trade partner for the UK. With an economic growth faster then China – set to top seven per cent this year, a rapidly improving business environment and a large Indian-born population resident in the UK, it seems the perfect target market for UK companies.
Except that it is not. Read more
Global energy is expected to shift further toward China and, especially, India in the next quarter century, according to the latest forecasts. By 2040 India’s demand should approach that of the US.
Relations between China and Taiwan seem to be thawing, as their respective leaders met over the weekend. Both countries have seen periods of very rapid economic growth since the Chinese civil war ended in 1949 – Taiwan in the 1970s, China in the years after 2000 Read more
A dozen games into the new Premier League season, Chelsea’s title defence has been anaemic, and few — if any — saw it coming. But with the aid of hindsight, shots data and the Elo ratings system, we can obtain a clue as to exactly when their troubles began: January 1 2015. Read more
“America’s labour market is not working” wrote Martin Wolf this week in a column analysing the poor performance of the country’s labour force participation rate. In a recent blog post we investigated possible reasons of the fall only to find that participation rates shrank among all demographic, education or civil-status groups.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics- which produces the participation numbers – does not compile data on reasons for inactivity, but the US Census Bureau could fill the knowledge gap, as it tabulates the reasons why people did or did not work in previous years. However, this data is much more difficult to access than that of the BLS and consequently less frequently used and quoted. Read more