Monthly Archives: February 2012

Searching for the secret of a happy life? Live in Northern Ireland, get a job and move in with a partner – but don’t worry about whether or not to have children.

That, at least, is the formula that emerges from a groundbreaking exercise in measuring the wellbeing of the nation.

Emily Cadman

Amid rising diplomatic tensions with Iran this year, the west has been ramping up its efforts to choke off Iran’s oil exports, the country’s main source of foreign revenues.

 Read more

Emily Cadman

PMIs – or Purchasing Manager Indexes – provide a regular way to track economic changes in the private sector.

Released on a monthly basis, these surveys of purchasing executives offer a way to gauge decline or increase in activity. Read more

Chris Cook

The social mobility problem is not that there is a small number of weak schools serving a lot of poor kids. It is that poor children do badly in the majority of England’s schools. Read more

The price of Brent crude oil hit an eight-month high last week, and is currently trading at more than $120 per barrel as fears escalated that Iran, the world’s third-largest oil exporter, could cut its exports to the European Union.

How much do emerging markets depend on oil for their energy – and who wins and who loses from high oil prices? Read more

Martin Stabe

The retail sales indices published by the UK’s Office for National Statistics estimate retail sales values and volumes in Great Britain.

The January 2012 figures, published today, show a 4.4 per cent in sales values and a 2 per cent increase in sales volumes over January 2011. Read more