Bad debt has piled up for years, notably in the construction sector Read more
The UK is now the second-largest economy with a female head of government, after Germany. Women-led countries produce about 15 per cent of global GDP, which will rise to 40 per cent if Hilary Clinton becomes US president.
House prices in the EU rose at an annual rate of four per cent in the first quarter of this year, but with big variations. The UK persistently shows strong price rises, while the trend was flat in France and house prices continue to shrink in Italy.
Satisfaction with US presidential candidates is at its lowest in two decades. In June, less than half of the population was satisfied with the choice of Clinton or Trump, compared with 72 per cent for Obama in 2008, say Pew data.
Latest figures showed a strong rise in US employment in June, with 287,000 extra jobs significantly above the average of 204,000 in the previous 12 months. However, the overall labour market picture is mixed. The unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 4.9 per cent, and labour force participation remains a crucial concern.
Even among those of prime working age participation rates remains low, over three percentage points lower than at the turn of the century. Read more
UK GDP growth predictions for 2017 had averaged 2.2 per cent among economic forecasters, but dropped to just 0.4 per cent after the EU referendum, with some forecasting zero growth or contraction for next year.
Professor Kenneth Rogoff says that the UK vote to leave the EU was a “Russian roulette for republics”, with an ‘absurdly low bar for exit, requiring only a simple majority’, with no supermajority, second referendum or parliamentary confirmation vote required.
Many voters did not have had a clear idea of what they were voting for or of its consequences, and many now seem to regret it. But the results did confirm the existence of a diffuse anger among the UK population. Read more
China, the US and the EU- excluding the UK are the three biggest economies in the world and together they account for about half of the global output in 2016. The UK ranks ninth by size of the economy, with a 2 per cent share.
The average bound duty in the EU varies across products, ranging from 45 per cent for dairy products, 20 per cent for beverages & tobacco to zero on cotton. The average level applied tends to be lower when taking into account EU preferential trade deals.
The average annual GDP growth in the UK was about 2 per cent in the five years to the first quarter of 2016, higher than that of Norway and Switzerland, which are not in the European Union. The same is true over the past 15 and 20 years.
How growth, trade, migration and more would be affected by a split with the EU Read more
The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 years old who are in work surpassed 74 per cent in the first quarter this year, the highest level since comparable records began in 1971. This is in contrast with the experience of the majority of OECD countries – including the US – where employment rates are still below the pre-crisis levels. Read more
Europeans are divided on the use of force to defeat terrorism. Nearly two-third of Dutch, Germans and Greeks say military force creates hatred that leads to more terror, but most Italians and Poles say force is the best way to defeat it.
The US and the UK have huge trade deficits in goods particularly with China, but they run the biggest surpluses in services. Financial services are particularly strong in the UK, while tourism is prominent in Spain and IT in India.
Filings by country and sector and the list of the world’s top patenting companies Read more
Venezuela is on the brink of collapse and even a humanitarian crisis. The IMF expects consumer price rises to near 500 per cent this year and to soar above 3,000 per cent in three years- assuming there will be goods left to buy.
Eastern Europe’s population is shrinking like no other regional population in modern history. Read more
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.
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.
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