UK

Small and midsized UK businesses remain concerned about the economy, according to the Future of Business Survey, a new measure of business sentiment from Facebook, the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The trio surveyed 90,000 small and medium-sized companies across 22 countries using the world’s largest social network. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Stage 9 of the 2016 Tour de France shows Team Sky’s tactics at their clinical best. Sky’s star-studded support group of five mountain specialists ruthlessly drove the pace of the peloton, sacrificing themselves one by one as they shed riders from the back of the group until team leader Chris Froome was able to go clear with only a handful of othersGoing in to the race, Froome’s imperial guard of Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Sergio Henao and Geraint Thomas had four mountain stage wins and seven top-ten general classification finishes in grand tours, as well as more than a dozen other victories in road cycling’s second tier of races. In almost any other team, any of these riders would be a team leader. Read more

Valentina Romei

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.

John Burn-Murdoch

Women are closing the gap on men in tennis prize money, with some now out-earning their counterparts. At almost every rung on the earnings ladder, the prize money gap is shrinking. The one exception is at the very top, where Novak Djokovic is so dominant that he pockets an outsized share of the ATP prize pot, putting him well ahead of Serena Williams, the top-earning women’s player so far in 2016The winners of the women’s and men’s singles tournaments at Wimbledon this year each receive £2m, making this the tenth successive year of equal prize money for the champions of each sex.

But although it might look like women’s and men’s tennis players now compete on a level financial playing field, true parity is still a long way off. In 2015 the top 100 men — as ranked by prize money — earned a total of $124.7m from singles tournaments, compared to $94.7m across the top 100 women.

So why the disparity? Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Projected results of future EU referendums, based on modelled population and age-structure. A Remain victory becomes probable in 2021

A week on from Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU, some of the most frequently asked questions have concerned turnout levels across different age groups.

Early cries that the young had been betrayed by older voters were countered with claims that it’s young people’s own fault for not voting in sufficient numbers. Some have asked how the UK’s age-structure itself impacted the vote: is the population so top-heavy in age-terms that the odds were always stacked against the younger generation? And then there is the question of whether David Cameron missed a trick in not giving the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds, who would have been expected to lean heavily towards Remain.

We have dug into the best available figures on turnout by age from the EU referendum, and combined them with various public datasets which allows us to answer these questions with the benefit of historical context, or even a glimpse into the future. Here’s what we found. Read more

Valentina Romei

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

John Burn-Murdoch

alt text here

The chain of events that led to Brexit will be examined in great detail — and much anguish on the Remain side — for years to come. Rapid changes in the UK’s political climate undoubtedly played a part, and global events including the Great Recession and recent European migrant crisis have left their mark.

But for now we can focus on what we know in the immediate aftermath of the vote: the distinguishing characteristics of the areas of Britain that voted for either side. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Polling has dominated coverage of the UK’s EU referendum for the last month, with the focus shifting between the polls’ reliability following their 2015 misfire, the methodological challenges pollsters face, and the Remain vs Leave race itselfRead more

John Burn-Murdoch

Remain led by several points in late 2015, but saw its lead eroded at first gradually, and then quickly as 2016 wore on, before Leave went ahead over the last weekThe way our model calculates the average from the remaining five polls in its basket after outliers are removed is completely unchanged, but the polls in that basket should be more representative of where the ‘true’ opinion of the electorate lies.

After this change, our poll-of-polls has Leave on 45, two points ahead of Remain. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Spain lead the Financial Times' predictions for Euro 2016, just ahead of Germany and then hosts FranceThe European Football Championships are upon us, and with them an eclectic mix of prediction models from media organisations, financial institutions and independent statisticians. To assuage our FOMO (fear of missing out, for the non-Millennials), the FT has joined in with one of our own.

Spain are favourites to lift the trophy, narrowly ahead of Germany and hosts France, based on our method which uses Champions League appearances and players’ market values to determine each team’s strength. This trio of teams comes in well ahead of the other 21 countries taking part.

Read on for details of the model and how it compares to the betting markets. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Two weeks out from from Britain’s historic EU referendum, opinion polls are dominating the debate. The question is: are they adding or removing clarity about the eventual outcome?

Today we published an overview of some of the challenges facing pollsters as they look to demonstrate that the 2015 general election mis-fire was a one-off. What follows here is a look at how some of these issues are affecting our own poll-of-polls — and how we might deal with them — as well as an exploration of some of the alternatives to pure polling when it comes to forecasting the result on June 23. Read more

London’s population overtook New York’s in 2014 and last year surpassed its pre-World War II peak for the first time ever. Yet there are increasingly news stories about how the UK’s capital is becoming a place where people work but don’t live, or how sharply rising house prices are forcing out the poor, the young or those with families.

What is actually happening? How to square the anecdotal evidence with the fact that London adds as many people as the entire city of Bath (>100,000) to its population every single year?

 Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Earlier this month Londoners voted in Sadiq Khan as mayor. The Labour candidate won 59 per cent of the vote and in so doing became the first Muslim mayor of a major European capital. But beyond the top-line figures, what do we know about how the election was won, and who voted for whom?

To answer these questions, we downloaded 140 datasets from the 2011 census, describing the demographic and socioeconomic composition of each of London’s 570 electoral wards: the same units over which the mayoral election vote was tallied. Read more


Leicester were bottom of the Premier League on April 10 2015, but a year later had climbed to the top, winning 91 points along the way. No team beginning at the foot of the top flight has ever won that many points* over the subsequent year since English league football began Read more

 Read more

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

John Burn-Murdoch

PSG are so far ahead of their domestic rivals that manager Laurent Blanc has been able to field weakened sides ahead of big Champions League matches at a rate unmatched by any other quarter-finalist, ensuring that his strongest side has been as well-rested as possible. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

England’s Premier League is enjoying one of its most competitive seasons for years, but at the same time the league is without a club in Europe’s top 10 for the first time in 20 years.

The interplay between competitive balance and outright quality of football is a complex one, and depending on who you talk to, different levels of importance are placed on each when it comes to talk of which league is the bestRead 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

Friday March 11: the day in 4 charts