Monthly Archives: July 2013

The US economy has gained some pounds.

The national accounts have undergone their most extreme methodological makeover in years and the results not only show that the world’s largest economy is bigger than previously understood, but the 2008-09 Great Recession was not as deep either. 

For all the antipathy that migrants are generating in Europe, a look at the numbers suggests they may be sorely needed. In much of the European Union, migrants are filling the ranks of the working age population, particularly in countries where the number of those aged 20 to 64 has been falling as a percentage of the total population.

Moreover, the data show a persistent pattern: migrants, as a percentage of population, are highest at the youngest working ages, peaking in most countries at 30 to 35 and falling thereafter. 

Kate Allen

Potentially historic elections are about to take place in Zimbabwe.

Former opposition leader and current prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai will be seeking to oust longstanding president Robert Mugabe, with whom he has jointly ruled for the past five years. 

This week, Britain is baby obsessed. But amid all this fascination with the new prince, there is a bigger question that investors might do well to ponder: namely, where are babies not being born right now, in the western world?

A striking report that has just emerged from Eurostat, the European statistical agency, shows that a subtle gap has emerged in the fertility trajectory of different European countries during the past couple of decades. In regions such as Spain and Italy, fertility rates have declined sharply since the 1970s (albeit from relatively high postwar levels.) However, in the core countries of the eurozone, such as Germany and France, fertility rates have been flat or even risen.

More interesting still is the recent picture. Between 2008 and 2011 the fertility rate in Austria rose a little, while in France it stayed unchanged and in Germany and the Netherlands it declined a touch. However, the fertility rate in Spain, Greece and Ireland has notably fallen. And the contrast among some population groups is stark. In Germany, the fertility rate among unemployed women has risen since 2008, for example, perhaps because the crisis created “a window of opportunity for child-bearing”, as a research note from Jefferies, the broker suggests. “In Spain, however, the opposite has happened and the fertility rate for this group of women has actually collapsed.” 

by Roger Blitz, FT leisure industries correspondent

Uefa has revealed the breakdown of revenues from the 2012/13 Champions League for the 32 participating clubs. The striking feature is that Juventus topped the table by some distance – despite going out in the quarter finals. 

Chris Cook

Charles, William, George. If all goes to plan, and God does, indeed, save our Kings, Britons now know the names of the men who will be head of state for the 21st century. But Ben Goldacre, the science writer, asked a good (if morbid) question: what chance does any one of us have of being alive when George finally takes to the throne? Thanks to Matthew Fletcher, a senior consultant at Towers Watson, a global actuarial firm, we now know.

You can get your precise numbers here, and read on to see how your odds were calculated

First, here is the likely probability distribution about when he will get under the crown. This makes a few assumptions that the royals age much like the rest of us, will not abdicate and that culottes-free Britons won’t storm Sandringham any time soon.

Again, assuming no chopping and changing, he also worked out the probability

  • that George follows on straight from Elizabeth – 0.1 per cent
  • that George takes over from Charles – 4.7 per cent
  • that George follows William – 88.6 per cent
  • that George is never king – 6.6 per cent