Valentina Romei

India is forecast to grow 7.8 per cent in 2016, the fastest rate of the 85 countries in Consensus Economics’s survey of prominent forecasters. China is expected to grow 6.5 per cent, slower than Turkmenistan and Bangladesh.

The Red Devils have hardly undergone a Chelsea-esque implosion — they sit in 5th place at the time of writing — but the Old Trafford faithful have grown increasingly restless, an undercurrent of discontent growing into a crescendo of criticism as perceived lacklustre performances have been followed by the poor results many felt they deserved.

According to an FT analysis, those perceptions are backed up by the statistics. After seven years of near-unbroken dominance in terms of their results, Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure from the post of manager was followed by a dramatic decline.

By the end of David Moyes’ solitary term in charge, Man United’s results — after adjusting for opposition quality — didn’t even put them among the fourth strongest sides in the league. The arrival of Louis van Gaal brought about a recovery: by the end of his first campaign the club was — only just — back among the four strongest sides in the league in terms of results. Read more

Simon Greaves

Nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange have fallen from $15,650 a tonne to about $8,765 over the past year, a collapse of 44 per cent.

Prices for the metal, the main alloying material used to produce certain types of stainless steel and traded in US dollars, fell sharply in November as the currency reached an eight-month high against the euro, offsetting the impact of upcoming production cuts, said Mintec, the commodities data firm. Read more

Last Thursday Chelsea’s owners made the decision many felt has been coming since August, and dismissed their talismanic manager José Mourinho.

Thus comes to an end his second spell at the reins of the club. The first ended in relative stagnation, but the second was truly a meteoric rise and fall.

With the aid of a statistical examination of the last 15 seasons, we can see the best and worst of Mourinho, and get a clue as to some of what went wrong this time around. Read more

A higher interest rate expected, but it is not an easy task Read more

Valentina Romei

Lack of structural economic growth has contributed to political disillusionment in France. The average growth in French GDP per capita since the 1990 was the lowest among any other major European country except Italy and Greece. Read more

Valentina Romei

The number of children of primary school age not enrolled in school has halved since the 1970s to about 60 m. The fall was fastest among girls who made up for about two third of the number in the 1980s to just over half of the children in the latest data. Most of the children are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read more

Last week Garry Monk became the seventh Premier League manager to be dismissed by his club in 2015, and the 11th top flight departure overall in the same period when resignations and contract expiries are included.

Monk had been in the job for just under two years, and while you could be forgiven for thinking this is precious little time, it actually comes in at almost twice the median across all Premier League managers in 2015. Read more

Valentina Romei

The fortunes of the manufacturing sector regularly captures the headlines while service industries are relatively under-reported by the media. Taking the number of articles on since the start of 2013 on the performance of manufacturing or services, over 600 pieces reported the manufacturing purchasing managers’ indices, while services were covered by about half that number of entries. Half of those pieces reporting the manufacturing PMI did so without any mention of the services sector, while services are almost never reported on their own.

 Read more

Valentina Romei

The proportion of children in England achieving a good standard (level 4) of writing, reading and maths increased by two percentage points to 80 per cent this year, according to the school performance tables released on Thursday by the UK department of education. The improvement in maths was smaller, only one percentage point, but a higher proportion of children – 87 per cent- reached a good level in 2015.

In over 2,200 schools out of nearly 16,000 in England, all or almost all of the pupils (98% to 100%) were able to achieve a good level of maths. Among the towns with over 50 schools with available results, Wigan show the highest average proportion of children achieving level 4, followed by Blackburn, Warrington and London. Good maths results are homogeneously high and all larger towns have a proportion of good maths performers of 80 per cent or more. Read more

Jamie Vardy’s record-setting Premier League goalscoring streak for Leicester City has been hailed as one of the most remarkable individual achievements of modern English football, but how does it compare to similar feats elsewhere?

Many have pointed out that Vardy’s run of scoring in 11 successive top flight English matches remains behind that of Jimmy Dunne, who made it to 12 for Sheffield United in 1931/32.

But given how much the game has changed over the intervening 60-plus years in terms of tactics, fitness and other factors, perhaps a better way of contextualising his record is to compare it to those of his contemporaries. Read more

Keith Fray

The renminbi was this week accepted by the IMF into the basket of elite currencies used to calculate the fund’s reserve asset, the Special Drawing Right. Although largely symbolic, the move reflects China’s progress towards full integration with the global financial system.

Valentina Romei

Japan is officially back into recession as its economy shrank for the second consecutive period in the third quarter this year.

Japan’s economy – along with Italy- performs poorly in comparison with other G7 countries. In 2020 both economies are forecast to be just 20 per cent larger than they were in the in the 1990s, compared to the doubling of GDP in the US and Canada. Read more

Americans spent more than $1bn shopping from their desktops on Thanksgiving Day in 2014. But that was only half of what they spent the following Monday, dubbed ‘Cyber Monday’ for its exclusive online sales deals.

Andrew Whiffin

UK finance minister George Osborne will outline the next round of cuts to public services today in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review. A number of countries have cut public spending as a share of GDP since 2010.France and Italy are two that have seen an increase

Ever since the Open Era began in 1968, we can identify the individuals and their periods of success. First came Laver, Rosewall and Newcombe; next was Borg’s reign, bookended by Connors, McEnroe and Lendl. Wilander and Becker ushered in the ’90s before giving way to Sampras and Agassi.

Federer, Nadal and now Djokovic have run the show since then, but there is no heir apparent. The average age of the ATP top 10 is 29.7 — the highest it has ever been — with an unprecedented five of its current members aged over 30. Read more

Andrew Whiffin

Global deaths from terrorism rose by 80 per cent in 2014 to 32,658, terrorism is highly concentrated in just five countries; Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, which accounted for 78 per cent of those deaths

Andrew Whiffin

The UK is phasing out its coal power plants. Over the past year generation from coal has fallen from 28 per cent to 21 per cent of the total. Wind and solar have taken up most of the slack, rising from 8 per cent to almost 15.

Valentina Romei

A weak euro is good news for eurozone exporters, especially Greece, Germany, Finland and Ireland, which rely on buyers outside the zone for over 60 per cent of goods exports. The Netherlands and Portugal, exporting mostly to eurozone neighbours are less likely to be affected

The last time athletics was engulfed by doping concerns of the volume seen last week was the 1980s, when performance enhancing substances including testosterone were commonplace among elite competitors.

This doping dark age left a mark still visible today in the form of records set decades ago that are still yet to be broken – and in some cases yet even to be approached. Read more