Finland’s economy has been contracting uninterruptedly since the start of 2012, excluding a brief mild expansion in the last quarter of 2013. No other Northern European country has had such a poor performance in the last three years.
Finland’s GDP in the first quarter this year was 3.4 per cent smaller than at the start of 2012. Over the same period Sweden expanded by 5.6 per cent and Norway by 4.1 per cent. Read more
Spain’s GDP per capita is set to overtake that of Italy later this year, according to Oxford Economics. Spanish output per head was around 70 per cent of the Italian level during the 1980s, but the gap has been narrowing due to sluggish Italian economic growth. The speed of convergence has increased since the global financial crisis.
Nearly three-quarters of the US population is in favour of ending the country’s trade embargo of Cuba, up from two thirds just six months ago. Back in 2009 only half of the population was in favour and many were undecided.
More than half of the US population is very concerned with cyber-attacks on governments, banks or corporations, more than the population of any of the 40 countries surveyed by Pew Research, in China the number is only one in ten.
Employment in China is set to fall this year for the first time in 50 years, according to estimates from the Conference Board. Employment in the 1980s grew at 3 per cent per year on average, but since 2009 the rate has fallen to 0.4 per cent on average.
At the start of 2015, nine states- the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea- had nearly 16 thousand nuclear weapons. Russian and US nuclear arsenals account for more than 90 per cent of global inventories. Read more
The IMF this week updated its outlook for growth in 2015; world output has been revised down by 0.7 % points, with Russia, Brazil and the Middle East seeing the largest downward revisions from last years forecast. Spain is now expected to grow by 3.1 per cent, more than double the rate that was predicted previously.
The Greek debt ratio has exploded since the crisis to reach 177 per cent of GDP in 2014, up from 126 per cent of GDP in 2009 or 102 per cent of GDP in 2007. But a rise in the ratio of debt to GDP is caused by two components, namely the trend of nominal debt and the trend of nominal GDP. In the case of latest Greek debt ratio rise, it was not due to a rapid rise in debt levels but the sharp decline in GDP.
House prices in Europe were 2.5 per cent higher in the first quarter of this year compared to 2014; the fastest annual increase since the start of 2008. Read more
A fifth of all Greeks and a third of Greek youths are now considered severely materially deprived; this means they cannot afford to take a holiday, meet unexpected financial burdens or even eat a meal of meat or fish every second day. These proportions have both doubled since the start of the financial crisis and are now the highest in Western Europe. Pre-crisis youth deprivation in Greece was below the European average, now it’s nearly three times higher.
Expected years in retirement have been rising in advanced countries. Men who retired in 2012 should have 18 years, slightly up from 2000. People have been retiring later, but life expectancy has risen as well
Greece had the largest improvement in fiscal deficit as a proportion of GDP among advanced countries over the past six years. It now ranks better than France, the UK and Spain, despite a fall in GDP of more than 20 per cent in the same period.
More than half of asylum applications in the EU were in Germany and Hungary in the first quarter this year. The number rose nearly 30 per cent compared with the previous quarter with Kosovans being the main nationality in both countries.
On the 21st of June, the UK Department of Health announced that from September 2015 babies aged over 2 months will be offered the MenB vaccine, which protects against meningococcal B disease. The MenB programme means that England is the first country in the world to begin national and publicly funded Men B immunisation.
A surprisingly high number of people in the large eurozone economies would like to revert to their own currency, although this proportion has been decreasing. In Italy over a third want to return to the lira
Keith Fray and Valentina Romei
During the six years from 2007 to 2013 the annual output of the Greek economy fell by more than 26 per cent. On the FT’s statistics desk we wanted to know how that fall ranked compared with sustained periods of economic retrenchment and dislocation in other countries. Read more
The number of hours worked per person in employment has fallen in most advanced countries since the financial crisis. The UK is among the few countries where the shift toward shorter-hours employment has been reversed. Read more