Members of the professional middle class in England and Wales have seen a rapid decline in their options when looking for a place to buy a house. The number of electoral wards where the average property price is above the affordability threshold has risen from just 101 (1.1 per cent) in 1995 to 489 (5.7 per cent) in 2012.

Martin Stabe

Surprisingly strong Christmas period retail sales data out today showed that UK shoppers spent 7.1 per cent more than in December 2012. Read more

London is getting younger. In contrast, the UK as a whole is getting older.

At least since Michael Goldfarb’s incendiary op-ed in the New York Times, there has been discussion about a “great exodus” from London. This chart shows that there is nothing new in recent history about net internal emigration from the capital. …

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Martin Stabe

Will your area of London be affected by the closure of ten fire stations today?

This map divides London into regions around each existing fire station. In areas shaded dark red, the nearest fire station will be closed. In regions shaded lighter red, the local station will lose a fire engine or specialist rescue unit. In blue-shaded regions, the nearest fire station will gain an additional fire engine.

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Twitter is going public and has been valued at up to $17.4bn, but that could be low as the company could be trying to achieve a large IPO pop once its shares start trading. But what do you think it is worth? What assumptions would you need to make to arrive at this conclusion?

Enter your projections for Twitter’s sales growth, profitability, capital expenditures, terminal growth rate and cost of equity in our IPO calculator below to see how key assumptions affect the potential market value of the social networking firm’s offering. You can then share your valuation with others.

The rise in US food prices accelerated in September and has continued into October, according to a detailed study of retail prices – though the US federal government shutdown has robbed financial markets of any official measures of the state of the economy.

These unofficial inflation figures, from a US start-up called Premise, highlight the growing use of massive data collection and analysis – known as “big data” – to supplement and in some cases replace official economic statistics.

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