On Wednesday, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters that the country could beat expectations and report an expansion in 2016.
The consensus among economists is that the Greek economy will expand in 2017, and in their latest Economic Outlook the OECD also stated that “growth is projected to turn positive in the second half of 2016”. Positive trends are already visible, yet it might be too soon to call this the beginning of a recovery. Read more
Support for Italy’s populist Five Star Movement rose over the past year and neared that of the centre-left party of premier Matteo Renzi. But the paralysis that followed the election of Virginia Raggi as Rome’s mayor reversed the trend.
In the mid-1990s the US, Japan and the countries that now form the eurozone accounted for similar shares of global investment, just above 20 per cent. Since then China’s share has risen; it became the biggest investor in 2010.
More than four in ten people in Berlin and London are very satisfied with the transport system in the city. The proportion is much smaller in Madrid, Paris and Brussels, while in Rome the vast majority is dissatisfied, according to data from Eurostat.
Services share of global exports rose to 23 per cent in 2015, the highest recorded by Unctad, the UN trade agency. The rise is largely a result of a double-digit drop in the value of goods exports, particularly commodities, and a milder contraction of services exports.
Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, announced on Friday the expansions of grammar schools. Read more
OECD composite leading indicators point to economic growth picking up in Brazil. The index is based on historical measures including manufacturing production, trade and order book data to gauge short-term future economic activity. Brazil’s July reading surpassed 100, which indicates the long-term trend.
Asia is the world’s most crowded region, with about 142 people per square kilometre, more than double the global figure. African density has doubled in the last 20 years and the continent is now more crowded than Europe and Latin America. Read more
Global migrant remittances fell in 2015 for the first time since the financial crisis, according to the World Bank. India still accounts for the largest inflow, despite a drop compared with 2014, and it is equal with China where they are rising.
European banks have been shrinking since the financial crisis, dwindling both in terms of their market value, number of branches and staff. Their fortunes have suffered and profits fallen as a result of stricter regulations, general economic weakness and low interest rates.
It’s unlikely that they will ever be the same again. All the more so as the decline in Europe’s over-reliance on banks could present new opportunities for the region to develop much-needed alternative financing channels. Read more
About half of UK mortgages are at a floating rate, and are likely to quickly benefit from yesterday’s interest rate cut to a record low. The proportion of such loans has rapidly declined over the past four years, from more than 70 per cent in 2012.
Over 4m factory jobs were lost in the EU in the seven years to 2015, an 11 per cent drop. Nearly 4m were lost in construction. Professional services, health and education gained but overall 2m fewer people are in employment than in 2008.
Shinzo Abe launched a new ¥4.6tn ($45bn) stimulus to boost the country’s weak consumption. Real private final consumption in Japan shrank by more than 1 per cent in the three years to the first quarter 2016, compared to a rise of 5 per cent in the EU and more than 8 per cent in the US.
The share of home ownership in the US slipped below 63 per cent in the second quarter of this year for the first time since 1965. On an annual basis, US home ownership has fallen since 2006, the longest period of decline since records began.
The Federal Reserve is more optimistic about the US labour market but warned ‘business fixed investment has been soft’. Annual growth slowed from more than 12 per cent in 2012 to 2 per cent in the first quarter this year.
Italy’s unemployment rate rose to 11.6 per cent in June. Although this is a marginal rise, it is worrying for a country that is struggling to recover after multiple recessions and weak growth.
Yet there are reasons to remain optimistic. Read more
Turkey experienced a period of exceptional growth and institutional transformation in the run-up to the global financial crisis. The country invested in infrastructure, education and health in addition to adopting a number of market-oriented reforms. Data shows that in the years prior to 2008, Turkey grew at a pace similar to that of China.
Global real food prices rose by 4 per cent in June over the previous month- the fifth consecutive rise and the largest monthly increase since July 2012. But food price levels are still 25 lower than in March 2008.
The majority of EU population plans to spend the 2016 holidays at home, the largest proportion being Greeks. Foreign trips are more popular in the UK, Germany and Belgium, where more than eight in 10 people plan to travel abroad.
Seven years after the financial crisis, Italy’s property market has still not recovered. House prices in the country fell 1.2 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016, the only drop among major EU countries. In contrast, house prices in the region expanded at an average of 4 per cent over the same period.