FT Baseline

Last week we looked at the top goalscorers in modern European football, focusing on the importance of remaining injury free for those who go on to become true greats.

This time around we’re taking a different view of the same data to tell another side to the story: the important distinction between a clinical finisher and a reliable source of goals. Read more

Valentina Romei

The growth in Chinese import has been slowing since the start of 2011 and actually contracted in the first months of this year due to falling demand and lower commodity prices.

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Valentina Romei

Gross domestic product (GDP) – the product generated in a country- is similar to the gross national product (GNP) – the income of the country’s residents, in most countries.

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Emily Cadman

(c) Getty Images

After a month of silence from the Bank of England as a result of purdah – the constitutionally imposed pre-election quiet period for public bodies – front row seats for Wednesday’s inflation report are at a premium. Read more

A network analysis of the Twitter conversations about the general election sheds some light on the hype around Labour in the run-up to the big day.  Read more

Most seats in the UK are projected to declare the winner between 2am and 5am in the general election held today. Labour leaning seats, which tend to be in urban areas and have lower turnout, are often the first to declare.

When the Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition took office in 2010 the majority of the public told pollsters that the economy was the most important issue facing the country. As the economy has recovered and the financial sector appeared more stable, it declined in importance in voters minds.

However, concern about the economy fell faster and further than worries about unemployment. In fact the percentage saying that unemployment is one of the important issues facing the UK is roughly the same as it was in 2010 despite record job growth. Either voters aren’t paying attention or they’re using unemployment as a shorthand for wider concerns about insecurity and the conditions of employment. Read more

Here’s a simple question: which of Britain’s parliamentary constituencies have seen the biggest job market recoveries since the coalition government took office in 2010?

The answer, I thought, might well generate a news story in the week of the UK general election. So I downloaded a time-series of the number of Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit claimants in each constituency. (I used JSA claimant data because, when you’re looking at small geographical areas, they’re far more accurate than survey-based measures of employment and unemployment.) Read more

FT Baseline

By John Burn-Murdoch and Gavin Jackson

Over a typical Premier League season we would expect any given team to pick up more points per match against weaker opponents than better ones, relative to its own strength. Read more

New York, Rome, Berlin and Mexico City. Which is the odd one out?

It is Rome. It missed out on being in the top 10 cities out of 55 indexed by Youthful Cities, a Toronto-based organisation that has started ranking metropolises based on their ability to meet the demands of their young residents (aged 15-29).

New York topped the list, with London coming in second and Berlin third. More interestingly Mexico City slipped into the top 10, the only non US, Canadian or European city to do so. The mix gets more interesting for the top 20, with the likes of Tel Aviv, Hong Kong and Santiago making the cut. (See full post for list.) Read more

Chris Giles

The Tories must be cursing the Office for National Statistics. Just when they wanted to trumpet solid growth in the economy nine days before the general election, pesky official figures suggest growth of only 0.3 per cent in the first quarter. There is no doubt this is a bad figure. As the chart shows, it is the worst quarterly growth rate since the end of 2012.

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Our new unemployment tracker shows the latest jobs data across the European Union, including top-line figures for each country’s constituent regions. The most recent figures are for September 2014.

You can also download the latest data using the link beneath the graphic. Read more

Emily Cadman

(c) PA

In bitesized form, here is a checklist of what we do – and don’t know about the man who would be prime minister’s plans: Read more

Updated May 06 2015

Note: the five parties shown are those for which every polling company in our poll-of-polls provides individual figures.

UK voters will elect a new parliament in a general election on May 7. Our poll-of-polls tracks all national-level voting intention polling figures going back to the 2010 election – the dots on our chart – and then calculates a rolling score for each party adjusted for recency and different pollsters. Read more

When we report on labour markets, we tend to focus on net changes in employment, unemployment and inactivity. But those measures don’t capture the activity inside labour markets. It’s a big thing to miss. Net employment grew about 600,000 in the UK in the last year. Yet roughly 650,000 people move from one job to another every quarter.

Now the Office for National Statistics has published updated data on job-to-job moves, which give us a glimpse inside the UK jobs machine. Read more

Attitudes on equality between the sexes differ starkly across Europe. In Sweden almost everyone agrees that gender equality is a fundamental right; in Poland and Lithuania that proportion is much lower.

Chris Giles

The big action in the 2015 UK Budget comes in the moderation of public spending cuts. It doesn’t feel much like a rabbit out of a hat, but kills Labour’s charge that the ideological Tories are planning to cut public spending to its lowest level since the 1930s.

This is clear from the long run graph that total managed expenditure had been set to fall to extremely low levels (in green, the colour of the Autumn Statement). Though still true, spending now falls to a level just above the lows of 1999-00 and 1957-58.

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If you live in the UK, you have heard a lot about terrible wage growth over the past five years. You might also have heard that, in spite of the grim headline figures, median pay actually rose a pretty healthy 4.1 per cent in cash terms last year for people who stayed in the same job. Chancellor George Osborne is fond of that figure, since it helps him fend off claims the recovery hasn’t reached ordinary workers’ pay packets. Here’s the chart:

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2013 protest in Manchester against widening pay gap  © Getty

By David Oakley

Britain’s top 10 highest paid bosses earn more than a combined £100m in the most recent financial year. For these top earners, their £118.9m aggregate pay packet was 27 per cent higher than what they received in the previous year.

This – at a time when real household median incomes in the UK is only just returning to 2007-2008 levels – is likely to put executive pay firmly back into the spotlight as the UK general election approaches and shareholders gather at upcoming annual general meetings. Read more

Chris Giles

Choices matter when measuring living standards. When looking at Britain’s living standards since before the recession, you can legitimately say incomes are back to the pre-crisis levels or still 10 per cent below those levels.

This post explains how (and the choices the Institute for Fiscal Studies made in its report this morning).

It showed UK living standards were back to the pre-crisis level. The IFS is an extremely reputable research organisation*. It also noted that the recovery in living standards has been painfully slow since the recession and household living standards still have not reached the 2009-10 peak.

I will show in this blog that definitions of living standards really matter, as do the choice of inflation measure, the choice of time period and the choice of average. It is perfectly possible and reasonable to arrive at a conclusion that living standards are 10 per cent below the pre-recession level with the same data as IFS used. This does not mean the IFS is wrong, but it has made choices that reduce the measured drop in living standards.

This is the IFS chart. Read more