David Cameron is taking a leaf from Shinzo Abe’s book. “It’s time Britain had a pay rise,” the UK prime minister plans to tell business leaders on Tuesday (unlike the Japanese prime minister, he will deliver his message in a speech rather than over a few rounds of golf.) It seems like a political no-brainer with an election in May and a workforce that has suffered six years of real terms pay cuts. But is it really that simple? And what can Mr Cameron do about it anyway? Here are six charts that explain what is really going on.
1. It’s true that UK workers have suffered a brutal real-terms pay cut since the crisis.
The world is awash with even more debt than before the financial crisis. Use the FT interactive tool to compare countries’ debt levels Read more
Roger Federer was eliminated from the Australian Open when he lost a match in which he won the majority of the points.
Was it a one-off, or a sign of an underlying issue? And how does his rival Rafael Nadal compare when it comes to winning the biggest points in tennis? Find out in our interactive graphic Read more
Guest post by Paul Hodges
The UK’s ageing population is creating major headwinds for economic growth, data published last month Office of National Statistics shows. Read more
The UK’s ‘two speed’ housing market is not a novel concept, but new figures highlight the regional and political split like never before.
Use our interactive graphic to explore how geography and politics divide fortunes in Britain’s property market. Read more
Renewables outstripped lignite, the most polluting form of coal, as Germany’s top power source for the first time ever in 2014.
This was a big milestone for the country’s energy transition, or Energiewende, which aims to use renewables for 80 per cent of Germany’s energy needs by 2050, and to stop using nuclear energy by 2022. Read more
The global crisis left many economies heavily indebted. But there are ways policy makers can repair the damage Read more
A breakdown of all of the recepients in this year’s list Read more
Parkview Gardens, a short subway ride from the White House, is an unlikely home of the free and the brave.
Half of the 600 apartments in this red-brick housing estate in Maryland are rented by refugees, people who have fled trouble and now live in the US. Many consider themselves lucky. They have visas, they get some government aid, and they are safe. But all offer some hard realities: nothing is easy about beginning again.
Five families – from Iraq, Bhutan, Rwanda and Kosovo – tell the Financial Times about their past lives and what they face now in America and living at Parkview Gardens. Click here for their stories (free)
There are signs that the 40 per cent fall in oil prices might not deliver the expected stimulus. Chris Giles assesses the outlook for the global economy while FT reporters look at the prospects for key exporters and importers.
Europe’s producers of pears are leaving crops to rot because of retaliation by Russia, the biggest buyer of European pears, against sanctions.
Many growers say it is cheaper not to harvest any but the most perfect fruit in a year when, according to Mintec, the commodities research and data group, overall production in Europe is estimated at 2.27m tonnes, down 2 per cent year-on-year from high output levels of 2013. Read more
In the aftermath of the financial crisis the world saw an increase in the number of street protests. Many inspired by perceived connections between the political elite and business interests; Occupy Wall Street and Los Indignados in the west to the Arab Spring and the protests against Victor Yanukovich in Ukraine. A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research presents evidence on their power.
Daron Acemoglu, Tarek Hassan and Ahmed Tahoun examines the correlation between street protests in Egypt and the stock market returns for firms connected to former president Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP), the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military. Read more
The amount the NHS spends per patient will fall by at least £98 by 2020 under funding pledges made by each of the main political parties, figures based on NHS England’s internal calculations reveal.
The figures show that despite the current “ring fence” which protects the NHS budget in England from inflation, spending measured on health officials’ preferred measure – estimated patient numbers, which take account of the fact that as people age, they get sicker – has already dropped by £50 per patient since 2009. Read more
Manufacturing and technology giants Samsung, Hyundai, SK and LG are examples of chaebol – multinational Korean conglomerates with labyrinthine ownership structures, often controlled by the founding family. Use our interactive graphic to explore the relationships between companies in each chaebol Read more
The US went to the polls yesterday for the congressional midterms and the Republicans swept to victory and took control of the senate. Turnout tends to be much lower when there’s no presidential election to accompany the congressional vote, on average about 13 percentage points. Exit polls revealed that minority and younger voters were much more likely to stay home this year than they were in 2012.
Russia’s ban on importing EU agricultural products will cause the loss of more than 300,000 tonnes of apples grown in Poland, a quantity more than the whole crop of the Netherlands or the UK, and risks causing a European glut of the fruit.
Poland’s apple and pear growers face substantial losses due the Russian embargo on farm imports from EU nations and other western countries which this year imposed sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Read more
By John Burn-Murdoch and Gavin Jackson
In the latest instalment of The Baseline, our weekly feature on sports statistics, we looked ahead to the ATP Tour Finals, the climax of the men’s tennis season.
The tournament is played on a hard court surface, which goes some way to nullifying the relative advantages afforded to big serving and big returning players by grass and clay courts respectively. But where exactly does hard court fall between those two extremes, and what can this tell us about its impact on the playing styles of grass and clay specialists? Read more
Are you a wealth accumulator, making good progress or burdened by debt? New research from think-tank the Smith Institute attempts to put a human face on all those distributional graphs of wealth inequality.
The report, published on Wednesday, calculates that property ownership in the UK, having risen dramatically in the last century, has peaked at 67 per cent of households and is likely to fall to 60 per cent by 2025. Read more
FT analysis of new Census Bureau data shows the scale of the task facing the Obama administration Read more
After a 13-year long war, UK forces and the US marines ended operations in Afghanistan on Sunday: in total 453 UK citizens lost their lives in the conflict and over 21,000 Afghanis are estimated to have died. The operational cost to the government is thought to be around £19bn. Read more