Valentina Romei

Eastern Europe’s population is shrinking like no other regional population in modern history. Read more

Valentina Romei

Half of the EU’s children aged under three are cared for only by their parents. The proportion is higher in eastern Europe and Germany, and lower in Denmark, Portugal and the Netherlands, where formal childcare is more common.

Valentina Romei

New US rules ensure that millions more people are eligible for extra pay when they work overtime. The average amount of overtime in the manufacturing sector, in which more than 12m Americans work, is 3.3 hours a week.

Valentina Romei

This week the European Commission let Italy off the hook, granting the country extra flexibility – to the tune of 14 billion euros – in its debt reduction targets for 2016.

The extra “flexibility” includes allowances for investments (0.25 per cent of GDP), for the refugees crisis (0.04 per cent of GDP) and for extra security measures (0.06 per cent of GDP). In return the Commission wants a ‘clear and credible commitment’ from Italy that the country will respect its budget targets in 2017. Read more

Valentina Romei

About 14 per cent of over-65s experienced persistent poverty in 2008, the highest share all age groups. But the rate has been falling since 2010 and now stands at 9 per cent, the same as under-18s.

Valentina Romei

Spain is set to return to 2008 levels of GDP next year, while most countries- including the US and UK- have already exceeded pre-crisis output. Italy and Greece are poised to remain behind 2008 levels beyond 2021, the last year for which the IMF currently produces forecasts.

Valentina Romei


Life expectancy has increased sharply across advanced nations over the last fifty years. In 2014, people residing in OECD countries were, for the first time, expected to live beyond 80 years according World Bank data. That’s 13 years longer than in 1960.

But not all countries improved at the same pace Read more

Valentina Romei

“Start a new rewarding career this September” writes the Department for Education on a website inviting people to become teachers, “places are still available.” They might be available for a long time, if data on teachers’ satisfaction, recruitment and retention is to be considered. Read more

Valentina Romei

About two in three teachers in secondary schools are female in the OECD countries, but they account for less than half of principals. The gap is wider in South Korea, Japan and Portugal but it’s minimal in Norway.

Valentina Romei

Despite a big drop in unemployment, about 18 per cent of Spaniards are forecast to be jobless in 2017; the proportion is bigger for Greece. According to the European Commission, unemployment rates are set to remain above 10 per cent in Italy, France and Portugal.

Valentina Romei

Less than half of the EU population trust official statistics, according to Eurobarometer data. In Denmark and Holland that rises to more than two in three, but falls to fewer than two in five in the case of Germany, France and Spain.

Valentina Romei

The world’s GDP growth forecast for 2016 has been revised down nearly 1 percentage point to 2.4 per since since January 2015. Brazil’s economy weighs in the steep downward revision for Latin America, while growth prospects for Eastern Europe look brighter now than they did last month.

Valentina Romei

Last year things were looking up in Italy. Employment, a sore subject after the international crisis, was growing and the unemployment rate began to fall in 2015 .

But in the last few months this progress flattened. What’s happened? Read more

Valentina Romei

The share of early leavers from education and training (aged 18-24) has steadily fallen in the EU, from 15 per cent in 2006 to 11 per cent last year. Spain and Italy still show a higher proportion than the EU average.

Valentina Romei

As the world faces a slowdown in economic growth, we look at what is happening in France and it’s not looking good.

France is one of the worst performing economies in Europe Read more

Valentina Romei

While the UK can cheer for being nominated for the second year in a row the most open country in the world for data transparency, a warning has been sounded over the widening gap between data haves and have-nots.

Advanced economies top the list of most transparent Read more

Valentina Romei

The last quarter of 2015 saw the proportion of people in jobs in the OECD area return to the peak level hit in the first quarter of 2008. However, employment rates are not back to pre-crisis levels in many countries. including the US, Spain, Italy and France.

Valentina Romei

Counterfeit and pirated goods represented a value of more than $460bn in 2013, similar to the GDP of Austria. Almost 20 per cent of the value seized products refers to intellectual property of holders registered in the US, then Italy with 15 per cent.

Valentina Romei

Some 77 per cent of the population in Northern Ireland reports high or very high happiness levels, 4 percentage points higher than the national average. A smaller proportion is happy in London and the north of England

Valentina Romei

The proportion of ‘materially deprived’ people in the EU and eurozone fell in 2015. But it continued to rise in Greece, where a record 22 per cent cannot afford unexpected expenses, enough heating or a week’s holiday abroad.