Valentina Romei

The world’s GDP growth forecast for 2016 has been revised down nearly 1 percentage point to 2.4 per since since January 2015. Brazil’s economy weighs in the steep downward revision for Latin America, while growth prospects for Eastern Europe look brighter now than they did last month.

Valentina Romei

Last year things were looking up in Italy. Employment, a sore subject after the international crisis, was growing and the unemployment rate began to fall in 2015 .

But in the last few months this progress flattened. What’s happened? Read more

Valentina Romei

The share of early leavers from education and training (aged 18-24) has steadily fallen in the EU, from 15 per cent in 2006 to 11 per cent last year. Spain and Italy still show a higher proportion than the EU average.

Valentina Romei

As the world faces a slowdown in economic growth, we look at what is happening in France and it’s not looking good.

France is one of the worst performing economies in Europe Read more

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Valentina Romei

While the UK can cheer for being nominated for the second year in a row the most open country in the world for data transparency, a warning has been sounded over the widening gap between data haves and have-nots.

Advanced economies top the list of most transparent Read more

Valentina Romei

The last quarter of 2015 saw the proportion of people in jobs in the OECD area return to the peak level hit in the first quarter of 2008. However, employment rates are not back to pre-crisis levels in many countries. including the US, Spain, Italy and France.

John Burn-Murdoch

The 2015-16 El Niño episode has been either the most or one of the most intense on record, depending on which measure you use.

Going on sea surface temperatures alone, the latest El Niño narrowly edges out 1997-98, the previous strongest. Temperatures in the Niño 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean — the most commonly used of the regions scientists measure for signs of an developing El Niño or La Niña conditions — peaked at 2.37°C above the long term trend in November 2015, just ahead of the 2.33°C mark reached in 1997. Read more

Valentina Romei

Counterfeit and pirated goods represented a value of more than $460bn in 2013, similar to the GDP of Austria. Almost 20 per cent of the value seized products refers to intellectual property of holders registered in the US, then Italy with 15 per cent.

Andrew Whiffin

A survey of leading European economists has put the probability of the UK voting to leave the EU at 41.3 per cent. The experts also believe that a British exit could trim half a percentage point off growth over the next two years

Valentina Romei

Some 77 per cent of the population in Northern Ireland reports high or very high happiness levels, 4 percentage points higher than the national average. A smaller proportion is happy in London and the north of England

Valentina Romei

The proportion of ‘materially deprived’ people in the EU and eurozone fell in 2015. But it continued to rise in Greece, where a record 22 per cent cannot afford unexpected expenses, enough heating or a week’s holiday abroad.

Valentina Romei

Commodities prices are generally falling but lithium spot price tripled in the past year, driven by demand for batteries used in electric cars and devices. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

PSG are so far ahead of their domestic rivals that manager Laurent Blanc has been able to field weakened sides ahead of big Champions League matches at a rate unmatched by any other quarter-finalist, ensuring that his strongest side has been as well-rested as possible. Read more

Valentina Romei

The IMF now expects advanced countries to grow at a lower rate in 2016 than was forecast a year ago. The US and Japan had the biggest downward growth revisions, at minus 07 percentage points, but prospects are brighter for Spain.

Japan is embarked on a demographic transition without precedent in human history, the OECD has warned, with its population both declining and ageing rapidly.

In 2050 the share of over 65s will hit 40%, the highest in the world. Read more

Simon Greaves

Walnut prices in the European Union have fallen by 20 per cent year-on-year as a result of a global supply glut, despite soaring consumption by health-conscious consumers.

EU production is expected to rise by 5 per cent year-on-year to reach 117,000 tonnes for the 2015-16 season. This was intended to meet demand from the EU which has risen, up 2 per cent year-on-year, driven by a buoyant snack industry as consumers become more aware of the health benefits of walnuts with their high nutrient content. Read more

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Guest post by Eswar Prasad and Karim Foda

The world economy continues to be beset by mediocre growth, hesitant or impotent policy actions by national governments, and a dearth of confidence among households and businesses. The worst may be over but after yet another year of tepid growth in 2015 the world economy in 2016 faces the unsettling prospect of more of the same—at best. Read more

Andrew Whiffin

The US minimum wage, as a proportion of average wages, fell to an all time low in 2005, at just 28 per cent. Plans to lift it to $15 an hour would represent a minimum wage of over 60 per cent of current average earnings