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
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.
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.
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
“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
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.
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.
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.