Data

Norwegian salmon prices dipped last week after increasing sharply in the past month — they are still up 30 per cent since September — despite Russia’s retaliation against EU and US sanctions and helped by soaring seasonal demand for the Christmas and new year holidays.

Prices have been falling as warm seas, which increase fish growth rates, led to larger quantities coming on to the market earlier in the year than expected, according to Mintec, the commodities data analysts, but fewer fish are currently being kept on farms.

In May the volume on farms was up 10 per cent year-on-year but the stocks fell, however, to only 1 per cent ahead in October and are expected to have fallen even further in November, the analysts said. Read more

Overall the BRC-Nielsen shop price index, which measures the changes in prices of 500 commonly bought items, records a fall in prices of 1.9 per cent year on year. Non-food prices fell by 2.9 per cent in November while food fell by 0.2 per cent.

The news comes after data from the Living Costs and Food survey — released on Tuesday — showed the extent to which living standards were squeezed following the financial crisis. Spending on housing, fuel and power became the largest category of spending in 2011 as increasing energy bills and a greater proportion of the population became renters. At the same time transport, the previous highest category, fell as more drivers economised due to higher petrol prices. Read more

Steve Johnson

A question, dear reader. You are setting out to measure gender inequality. One of the indicators in front of you has a gender splt of 49/51. Another has a 72/53 divide. Which of the two is more redolent of a happy, inequality-free nirvana?

If you’re the World Economic Forum, the answer is the latter. Welcome to the Orwellian world of the WEF’s annual Gender Gap Report. Read more

The global financial crisis of 2008 had a big impact on migration, with a million fewer people a year moving to another country on average after 2010 than in the 10 years before. But since 1960, the percentage of the global population classified as migrants has remained steady at roughly 3 per cent, largely as a result of population growth. The OECD last year found that if there was a cost from new migrants it was generally small.

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Emily Cadman

How well is Britain’s economy doing? The default answer has always been to look at GDP – which is why legions of city analysts are anxiously hunched over their screens at precisely 9.30am every quarter.

But over the past decade there has been widespread acceptance that this headline number doesn’t adequately describe whether most people are in fact feeling better off. Read more

The UK’s information technology sector could be about 40 per cent bigger than previously though, with at least 70,000 more ICT companies in operation.

That’s according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research who have come up with a pretty novel way of measuring the size of Britain’s tech sector using one of the industry’s most hyped concepts ‘big data’.

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