Emily Cadman

Fancy yourself a fully paid up chart and data nerd? Well the Bank of England is looking for you.

To publicise the launch of a more open research agenda, the BoE is offering a £5,000 prize to the best data visualisation using one (or more) of six datasets it has added to its website.

Of course, potential entrants could be keeping their ideas top secret, but by far the dataset attracting most initial interest was the three centuries of macroeconomic research data, which makes a whole treasure trove of long run data – such as wages and prices from 1661 to 2012 – available to the general public.

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Since 1990, the proportion of women over 30 has been increasing — the rate for the over 40s has more than doubled. At the same time younger women are much less likely to become pregnant. Teenage pregnancy reached a record low in 2013

 

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In 1961, the average UK 20-something sat in the upper third of the income distribution after deducting housing costs, but the subsequent 50 years have seen a dramatic reversal in their fortunes. Explore the UK’s widening generation gap over income with this interactive graphic. Read more

 

 

Perhaps in light of 2013′s revelation that the NSA hacked their chancellor’s phone, Germans fear the misuse of their online personal data more than any other EU nationality

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Emily Cadman

Politicians of all hues will be looking more closely – and more nervously – than normal at the official public sector borrowing figures out this morning.

This is Chancellor George Osborne’s last chance to get a substantial tax bump in the public finances before the election to achieve the deficit reduction he’s put at the heart of his political programme.

So far this year the government has borrowed nearly the same as the previous one, despite strong economic growth. It is banking on getting a big boost from self-assessment taxes this month, which could give Mr Osborne considerably more room to manoeuvre at the Budget.

If the uplift doesn’t come in strongly, in the biggest month of the year for receipts, it will become nearly impossible for the government to meet this year’s borrowing targets and fuel concerns there has been a structural decline in income tax receipts.

1. Self- assessment income tax receipts

The Treasury has been banking on January being a bumper month for income tax receipts, because of the behavioural changes around the dropping of the top rate of income tax.

In the spring of 2013, a number of higher-rate taxpayers moved their income from the 2012-13 tax year into the 2013-14 tax year to take advantage of the cut in the higher rate of income tax from 50 to 45p. Read more

 

Britons have long been thought of as heavy drinkers, but recently the proportion of binge drinkers has been falling and teetotallers are growing in number. Changes in behaviour among the young are thought to be the biggest reason

 

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Emily Cadman

(c) Getty Images

The Bank of England is studiously non-party political. But with the UK economy – and the cost of living – centre stage in an election campaign that is steadily ramping up, the central bank’s quarterly inflation report on Thursday will be more closely scrutinised than usual. Read more

US honey prices are continuing a steady upward trend with year-on-year prices in early February 13 per cent higher as a result of increased demand and lower domestic production.

Production of US honey has been falling year-on-year, with the latest figures from commodities data firm Mintec showing 67,800 tonnes of honey were produced in 2013, down 5 per cent year-on-year and 35 per cent lower than output levels of 20 years ago, mainly due to a decline in bee colony yields.

As a result of a supply and demand imbalance, imports into the US have been rising steadily, with volumes in 2013 reaching 153,750 tonnes, up 8 per cent year-on-year, and totalling about 65 per cent of US supply. Read more

 

The announcement of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme stole the headlines last month, but lower growth and inflation prospects have led to interest rate cuts by many of the world’s central banks in the first part of this year.

 

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David Cameron is taking a leaf from Shinzo Abe’s book. “It’s time Britain had a pay rise,” the UK prime minister plans to tell business leaders on Tuesday (unlike the Japanese prime minister, he will deliver his message in a speech rather than over a few rounds of golf.) It seems like a political no-brainer with an election in May and a workforce that has suffered six years of real terms pay cuts. But is it really that simple? And what can Mr Cameron do about it anyway? Here are six charts that explain what is really going on.

1. It’s true that UK workers have suffered a brutal real-terms pay cut since the crisis.

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The world is awash with even more debt than before the financial crisis. Use the FT interactive tool to compare countries’ debt levels Read more

Roger Federer was eliminated from the Australian Open when he lost a match in which he won the majority of the points.

Was it a one-off, or a sign of an underlying issue? And how does his rival Rafael Nadal compare when it comes to winning the biggest points in tennis? Find out in our interactive graphic Read more

From General Motors in the 1950s, to Apple today, the list of the top US companies by net profits tell a story about how the American economy has changed through the ages. Explore this history with our interactive graphicRead more

Guest post by Paul Hodges

The UK’s ageing population is creating major headwinds for economic growth, data published last month Office of National Statistics shows. Read more

 

Unit labour costs in Greece have fallen further than in any other European country since 2010, down almost 15 per cent. Costs in other eurozone periphery states have also fallen; in Spain and Portugal they have fallen by over 5 per cent.

 

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Earlier this week the charity Oxfam released a paper ahead of the world economic forum in Davos that claimed that the wealthiest 1 per cent of the world’s population were on track to own half the world’s wealth by 2016.

Others have pointed out problems with this data. To calculate an individual’s wealth the Credit Suisse data takes debts away from assets to give a figure for net wealth. Anyone with debts greater than their assets has negative wealth. Read more

By David Blood and Aleksandra Wisniewska

More than 2,500 people are attending the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, but how are they connected outside of the picturesque alpine town?

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156 players have reached the top ten of the ATP men’s singles rankings since they were established in 1973. How do they compare on success and longevity?

Find out in our interactive graphic Read more

 

 

The weakening rouble and the recession will cause a 24-per cent contraction in new cars sales in Russia this year, to the levels last seen in 2009. Read more