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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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