Valentina Romei

Commodities prices are generally falling but lithium spot price tripled in the past year, driven by demand for batteries used in electric cars and devices. Read more

Valentina Romei

The IMF now expects advanced countries to grow at a lower rate in 2016 than was forecast a year ago. The US and Japan had the biggest downward growth revisions, at minus 07 percentage points, but prospects are brighter for Spain.

Valentina Romei

If the UK were to leave the European Union, it will mean that it will also be outside the Capital Markets Union (CMU), when completed. The CMU is a set of measures designed to clear obstacles between companies and potential investors. The idea – in the words of the European Commission that created it – is “to mobilise capital and channel it to all companies, including SMEs, and infrastructure projects that need it to expand and create jobs”.

The EU economy is slightly bigger than that of the US, but its capital market is very different. Its equity market is about half the size of that of the US and its securitisation market is less than a quarter of the US. Read more

Valentina Romei

The value of initial public offerings (IPO) in the EU reached an eight-year high in 2015- at more than €50bn. On average, the UK accounted for about half of the value of European IPOs in the past decade, but less than one-third last year.

Valentina Romei

Over 71 per cent of non-EU citizens in Belgium are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, against 18 per cent of Belgian citizens- the largest gap in Europe. Non-Eu citizens in Belgium are worse off than in any other EU state apart from Greece.

Valentina Romei

The value of cross border merger and acquisition deals in Italy reached a new high in 2015 at over $50bn. Italian companies were the most targeted by foreign acquisitions in the European Union after the UK, along with France. Read more

Valentina Romei

Almost half of UK teachers think that turning schools into more autonomous ‘academies’ will make educational standards worse and only 17 per cent believe they will improve. This contrasts with the public, where opinion is split

Valentina Romei

Estimates show oil production from hydraulically fractured wells rose to half of US crude output last year, though the technique has been in use for 6 decades. ‘Fracking’ has allowed the US to lift output faster than at any time in its history. Read more

Valentina Romei

Wealth disparities within EU countries were narrowing prior to the 2008 crisis, but since then the poorer regions have stopped catching up with the wealthiest ones.

“European countries converge at national level, but at the cost of a rising divergence within the countries” explain Joaquim Oliveira Head of the OECD Regional Development Policy Division in an interview with the FT. Read more

Valentina Romei

US real estate is prospering, with half of properties sold in the year to January being priced over $300,000. Six years ago it was one in four. The share of cheaper houses increased during the crisis, but now shows the steepest drop

Valentina Romei

Over 5m people usually work on Sundays in the UK – 17 per cent of the employed population and about double the proportion in 1994. Weekend shifts increased across all occupations but rose faster among professionals

Valentina Romei

Approval of the government in Britain picked up in the months leading up to the general election in May 2015. But it started dropping again in June and is now at the lowest level since June 2014, according to YouGov data.

Valentina Romei

About two in three women aged 25 to 64 years old are in employment in the European Union, the highest proportion since the data series began 23 years ago. However, the EU average conceals considerable variation between regions.

 Read more

Valentina Romei

As Japan and South Korea seek to raise birth rates, their paid paternity leave is now the most generous in the world. French and German fathers are entitled to longer leave than the OECD average, but Italy and the US lag behind.

Valentina Romei

The number of credit institutions in the EU dropped 20 per cent in the 10 years to February 2016. The decline was steeper in France and Spain, milder in the UK and Poland, while in Ireland there are more banks now than 10 years ago.

Valentina Romei

Renewable energy sources- particularly wind, hydro and solar- are expected to account for the biggest change in global electricity generation between 2013 and 2020, larger than that from all other sources combined, according to IEA data. Read more

Valentina Romei

‘Greenfield’ FDI – crossborder investments in physical projects excluding M&A, increased by nine per cent last year, to $713bn. Oil and gas attracted the largest amount, followed by real estate, but the amount invested in renewable energy increased fastest, up 73% to $76bn, according to data from fDI Markets.

 Read more

Valentina Romei

How much land has been acquired for investment and agriculture over the past decade? The truth is nobody really knows.

Non-government organisations, media and academic publications have been assessing so-called land deals – where outsiders acquire huge tracts of land for commercial use – through field reports and by crowdsourcing data online. Read more

Valentina Romei

About two in five US private sector workers – nearly 44m people – lack access to paid sick leave. The proportion rises to 7 in 10 of those with the lowest wages

Valentina Romei

On average couples are waiting longer to get married, if they choose to marry at all. The mean age in OECD countries at first time marriage rose by 5 years since 1990 to 32 years for men and 30 years for women. Ireland and Spain are among the countries with the largest rise in marriage age.