With more than a year’s worth of of data from our exclusive business sentiment poll, the FT/Economist Global Business Barometer, now available, some interesting longitudinal patterns are becoming apparent for the first time.
Most notable among them is the steady erosion over the past year in executives’ perceptions of the “business friendliness” three of the world’s biggest developing economies, India, China and Brazil.
What we’re reading today in the world of statistics, open data and data journalism:
We like a good political choropleth around here, and Sunday’s European election extravaganza did not disappoint in the psephological cartography department.
A good map of the Greek results can be found at igraphics.gr, Le Monde has the obligatory map of the French presidential election par département, and Michael Neutze’s site Wahlatlas covered the results in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Read more
Amid talk of how governments should measure ‘happiness’, we should perhaps note that ‘misery’ – at least economic misery – may have recently peaked.
This week’s releases of inflation data in the UK and US, and labour market numbers for the UK should see the ‘misery index’ continue to fall in both countries.
This index – simply the unemployment rate plus the annual rate of inflation – has seen a modest revival of interest among economists in recent years. Read more
The 2012 US presidential election is the first time that candidates have benefited from super-Pacs, which bring in millions of dollars that can be used to support someone’s campaign through advertising. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision in 2010 loosened the restrictions on who can give how much to political action committees, giving rise to what has become known as “super-Pacs”. Direct donations to the candidates’ campaigns can only be up to $2,500. Donations to super-Pacs are often 10 or 100 times more than that. Read more