Valentina Romei

George Osborne, the UK chancellor, announced in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement the “biggest housebuilding programme since the 1970s”. This included 400,000 new affordable homes in England by 2020, a 3% stamp duty increase for buy-to-let and second home buyers, and a new help-to-buy scheme just for London. The measures are aimed at tackling the “crisis in home ownership in Britain”. Read more

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

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

Valentina Romei

All ethnic minority groups in the UK are now significantly more likely to go to university than their white British counterparts. On average, amongst the cohort who sat their GCSEs in 2008, only one third of the white British population went to university in the academic year 2010-11 or 2011-12, compared to 75 per cent of ethnic Chinese pupils and 67 per cent of Indian students. Read more

A dozen games into the new Premier League season, Chelsea’s title defence has been anaemic, and few — if any — saw it coming. But with the aid of hindsight, shots data and the Elo ratings system, we can obtain a clue as to exactly when their troubles began: January 1 2015. Read more

Valentina Romei

“America’s labour market is not working” wrote Martin Wolf this week in a column analysing the poor performance of the country’s labour force participation rate. In a recent blog post we investigated possible reasons of the fall only to find that participation rates shrank among all demographic, education or civil-status groups.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics- which produces the participation numbers – does not compile data on reasons for inactivity, but the US Census Bureau could fill the knowledge gap, as it tabulates the reasons why people did or did not work in previous years. However, this data is much more difficult to access than that of the BLS and consequently less frequently used and quoted. Read more

Since he shot to teenage stardom, Wayne Rooney has formed the mainstay of every team he has been part of, both at club and international level, and has stayed relatively injury free.

He is one of a select few world-class strikers to have played more than 50,000 minutes by their 30th birthday, but is he worn out as a result, and what might he learn from former Real Madrid star Raúl, whose career trajectory is almost a perfect match for his own? Read more

Belgium's rankings according to Fifa and eloratings.netWins earlier in October against Israel and Andorra will see the team leapfrog Argentina and Germany when Fifa’s rankings are updated next month, but how highly do alternative systems rate the Red Devils? Read more

The COP21 climate change calculator allows users to track and project greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from China, US, EU1, India, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Canada, Australia and the Rest of the World (“Others”), over the period 1870 to 2100. China, US, EU, India, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Canada are the highest GHG emitters in the world. Together with Australia, they accounted for two-thirds of global GHG emissions in 2010.

To learn more about the underlying data, methodology for computation of temperature values and key messages from the COP21 calculator please read on… Read more

Eswar Prasad and Karim Foda

The world economy is beset by a dangerous combination of divergent growth patterns, deficient demand, and deflationary risks. The latest update of the Brookings-Financial Times TIGER (Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery) reveals sharp divergences in growth prospects between the advanced economies and emerging markets, and within these groups as well.  Read more

Did you receive the press release? Were you offered an exclusive interview? Are you upping your journey down the engagement funnel?

Well, brace yourself – because the ranks of public relations professionals are growing. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that there may soon be more PRs than journalists in the UK. Read more

The World Athletics Championships are taking place this week in Beijing, and Usain Bolt’s narrow victory over Justin Gatlin in the men’s 100m final rounded off the opening Sunday.

Always one of the biggest moments of any athletics meet, this year’s race was especially eagerly anticipated given the narrative that had built around Gatlin. Read more

FT Baseline

How do standard of play and level of competition vary across Europe’s top leagues, and can this tell us which provides the best football?
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Valentina Romei

Finland’s economy has been contracting uninterruptedly since the start of 2012, excluding a brief mild expansion in the last quarter of 2013. No other Northern European country has had such a poor performance in the last three years.

Finland’s GDP in the first quarter this year was 3.4 per cent smaller than at the start of 2012. Over the same period Sweden expanded by 5.6 per cent and Norway by 4.1 per cent. Read more

Martin Stabe

Global banks have paid $162.2bn in fines and legal settlements with US regulators since the financial crisis, data compiled by FT reporters shows.

Update, July 22, 2015: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have handed down a $770m penalty against Citigroup for deceptively marketing and billing consumers for identify theft protection products. Read more

Valentina Romei

Keith Fray and Valentina Romei

During the six years from 2007 to 2013 the annual output of the Greek economy fell by more than 26 per cent. On the FT’s statistics desk we wanted to know how that fall ranked compared with sustained periods of economic retrenchment and dislocation in other countries. Read more

This is a guest post by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Chairman and Co-Founder, Open Data Institute

The UK is a world leader in open data. Open data is data that is published for anyone to use for any purpose at no cost. Open data about transport, spending, health, crime, the environment, mapping and much more is now freely available from the UK government. We are also seeing companies release some of their data as open data. Open data is not usually personal data unless it is released as aggregate or anonymised data that does not identify an individual. Read more

Valentina Romei

“The good school” is the title of the reform to the Italian educational system proposed by the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi that was approved by the lower chamber of parliament on the 20th of May and that now needs to be approved by the upper chamber in the next few weeks.

In the words of the Ministry of Education Stefania Giannini the reform is aimed at improving “autonomy, transparency, responsibility, fair valuation and merits” in the educational system. The reforms involve funding for hiring thousands of temporary teachers on permanent contracts, more training, the introduction of a one year trial for new teachers and larger school autonomy among other – sometimes controversial – measures. Read more

Guest post by Paul Hodges

Demographic change is creating major headwinds for the US economy, as confirmed by its disappointing first quarter GDP growth of 0.2 per cent. Consumption accounts for around 70 per cent of US GDP, and new data on household spending from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) demonstrate how the ageing of the US population is creating major structural change in the economy. Read more

Sarah O'Connor

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