The economy of Poland proved its resilience after the financial crisis – it was the only country in the European Union that didn’t see a contraction in GDP following the events of 2008. The latest growth estimates, for the second quarter of this year, showed Poland grew at 3.6 per cent on an annual basis, the third fastest in Europe after the Czech Republic and Romania.
France continued to be the most popular destination for tourist visits last year, followed by the US and Spain. Mexico and Turkey have been climbing in the rankings – Mexico up five places from 2013 to tenth and Mexico from tenth place in 2005 to sixth last year
More than half of the world’s 10 largest container ports are in China. With the exception of Jebel Ali in Dubai, all are in Asia. No European or North American container ports feature in the top 10.
In the decade to 2010 working age populations in India, China and Africa all increased by similar amounts, in the current decade ending 2020 this growth will speed up in Africa, slow in India and begin to decline in China.
During this period, inflation and unemployment rates were low, investments grew at an annual average of 12 per cent- the fastest in Europe- and the country’s budget balance was in surplus. Labour productivity was growing at a faster rate than most European countries, including peripheral economies such as Spain and Portugal. Greece was a promising place to do business, with credible monetary policies, contained increases in labour costs, social peace, decreasing restrictions on trade and a favourable tax regime. Read more
Italy leads the ranking of the Unesco world heritage sites with 45 cultural and 4 natural sites, followed by China, Spain and France.
Italy has been leading the ranking for many years, as a large part of her sites were listed in the last century including the whole historic centres of Florence, Siena, Naples, Urbino and Venice. China is a relatively new entry as 25 out of its 48 sites have been listed since 2000 including the silk roads last year and the Kaiping Diaolou and villages, multi – storeyed defensive village houses built since Ming times, listed in 2007. Considering the higher number of Chinese sites being listed recently, China is likely to overtake Italy in the very near future. Read more
China is the world’s largest producer of manufactured goods, according to the World Bank data. Comparing last year’s ranking with the year before the global crisis shows India and South Korea rising at the expense of Italy, France and the UK.
US labour underutilisation-closely monitored by the Fed- continues to improve and is now close to 2000 levels. It includes unemployed people, those working part-time because they could not find a full-time employment and people who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job.
About one in six working people in Italy, Portugal and Spain is at risk of poverty or social exclusion, even more in Greece. The proportion has risen in the eurozone, with Italy and Germany registering among the biggest increases.
The most popular water park in the world is in Guangzhou, China. In 2013 its visitors numbers surpass those of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando, Florida. However four of the worlds top-ten water parks are located in the US city.
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.