World

Valentina Romei

On Wednesday, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters that the country could beat expectations and report an expansion in 2016.

The consensus among economists is that the Greek economy will expand in 2017, and in their latest Economic Outlook the OECD also stated that “growth is projected to turn positive in the second half of 2016”. Positive trends are already visible, yet it might be too soon to call this the beginning of a recovery. Read more

A recent earthquake reduced large parts of central Italy to a pile of rubble and killed almost 270 people. Though shallow, the tremor was felt in buildings as far as Rome and Florence. At 6.2 magnitude, it was the second strongest in 35 years on the peninsula.

Italy’s position close to the boundary of two tectonic plates makes it more prone to devastating quakes than any other European country. Not only do barely perceptible minor tremors occur frequently, but Italy has regularly suffered from major quakes that take lives. Here, we look at how the death toll from earthquakes in Italy compare to other Southern European regions over the last century.

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Since its transfer to Broadway, Hamilton has grossed more than $95 million, not counting the millions it has lost every week to ticket resellers. The show’s high profile and financial success has brought more attention to Broadway and theater, but that hasn’t translated to necessarily better outcomes for the other musicals on Broadway. Read more

Valentina Romei

Shinzo Abe launched a new ¥4.6tn ($45bn) stimulus to boost the country’s weak consumption. Real private final consumption in Japan shrank by more than 1 per cent in the three years to the first quarter 2016, compared to a rise of 5 per cent in the EU and more than 8 per cent in the US.

Valentina Romei

Italy’s unemployment rate rose to 11.6 per cent in June. Although this is a marginal rise, it is worrying for a country that is struggling to recover after multiple recessions and weak growth.

Yet there are reasons to remain optimistic. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Stage 9 of the 2016 Tour de France shows Team Sky’s tactics at their clinical best. Sky’s star-studded support group of five mountain specialists ruthlessly drove the pace of the peloton, sacrificing themselves one by one as they shed riders from the back of the group until team leader Chris Froome was able to go clear with only a handful of othersGoing in to the race, Froome’s imperial guard of Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Sergio Henao and Geraint Thomas had four mountain stage wins and seven top-ten general classification finishes in grand tours, as well as more than a dozen other victories in road cycling’s second tier of races. In almost any other team, any of these riders would be a team leader. Read more

Federica Cocco

Britain’s House of Commons has voted resoundingly in favour of renewing the country’s nuclear deterrent, the Trident submarine programme, to the bitter disappointment of the 177 MPs who voted against it and the delight of the 472 in favour.

But internal politics aside, the vote should hardly come as a surprise: no nuclear weapon-possessing country is preparing to give up its nuclear arsenal for the foreseeable future. Read more

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” has been arguably the hottest tickets to ever hit Broadway. According to its producers, Hamilton broke records for pre-sales before its Broadway debut last summer, and recently, producers raised the price of 200 premium tickets from $475 to $849, making it the most expensive premium ticket on the Great White Way.

So it’s no surprise that prices on the secondary market have been similarly off the charts. While tickets going for more than $300 may have seemed expensive when it first opened, prices that cheap have been difficult to find in recent months.

Ticket prices reached a high point last Saturday for Miranda’s last performance as title character Alexander Hamilton. Tickets on StubHub were listed (not necessarily sold) for as high as $60,000 and $30,000 after fees. But in the few hours before the performance, ticket prices across the board began dropping. Read more

Bad debt has piled up for years, notably in the construction sector Read more

Valentina Romei

House prices in the EU rose at an annual rate of four per cent in the first quarter of this year, but with big variations. The UK persistently shows strong price rises, while the trend was flat in France and house prices continue to shrink in Italy.

John Burn-Murdoch

English football must stop outsourcing creativity. The most prolific assisters in the recent history of the Premier League all come from overseas. As a result, England struggle to break down organised defences in international tournamentsEnglish football has always loved its powerful forwards, hard-running fullbacks and no-nonsense centre-backs. Even a quick-footed winger or tricky attacking midfielder can get an English crowd on its feet.

But one role has yet to be embraced in the same way by a bulk of English football fans: that of the playmaker, often found — God forbid — moving the ball sideways or backwards, but capable of dissecting a defence with a pinpoint pass, releasing an onrushing teammate into space that moments earlier was nonexistent.

The Premier League has had countless examples of genius playmakers: Mesut Özil, David Silva, Cesc Fabregas at his peak to name just three of the most recent. But English names are conspicuous by their absence. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Women are closing the gap on men in tennis prize money, with some now out-earning their counterparts. At almost every rung on the earnings ladder, the prize money gap is shrinking. The one exception is at the very top, where Novak Djokovic is so dominant that he pockets an outsized share of the ATP prize pot, putting him well ahead of Serena Williams, the top-earning women’s player so far in 2016The winners of the women’s and men’s singles tournaments at Wimbledon this year each receive £2m, making this the tenth successive year of equal prize money for the champions of each sex.

But although it might look like women’s and men’s tennis players now compete on a level financial playing field, true parity is still a long way off. In 2015 the top 100 men — as ranked by prize money — earned a total of $124.7m from singles tournaments, compared to $94.7m across the top 100 women.

So why the disparity? Read more

Valentina Romei

Latest figures showed a strong rise in US employment in June, with 287,000 extra jobs significantly above the average of 204,000 in the previous 12 months. However, the overall labour market picture is mixed. The unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 4.9 per cent, and labour force participation remains a crucial concern.

Even among those of prime working age participation rates remains low, over three percentage points lower than at the turn of the century. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Projected results of future EU referendums, based on modelled population and age-structure. A Remain victory becomes probable in 2021

A week on from Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU, some of the most frequently asked questions have concerned turnout levels across different age groups.

Early cries that the young had been betrayed by older voters were countered with claims that it’s young people’s own fault for not voting in sufficient numbers. Some have asked how the UK’s age-structure itself impacted the vote: is the population so top-heavy in age-terms that the odds were always stacked against the younger generation? And then there is the question of whether David Cameron missed a trick in not giving the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds, who would have been expected to lean heavily towards Remain.

We have dug into the best available figures on turnout by age from the EU referendum, and combined them with various public datasets which allows us to answer these questions with the benefit of historical context, or even a glimpse into the future. Here’s what we found. Read more

Valentina Romei

Professor Kenneth Rogoff says that the UK vote to leave the EU was a “Russian roulette for republics”, with an ‘absurdly low bar for exit, requiring only a simple majority’, with no supermajority, second referendum or parliamentary confirmation vote required.

Many voters did not have had a clear idea of what they were voting for or of its consequences, and many now seem to regret it. But the results did confirm the existence of a diffuse anger among the UK population. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

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The chain of events that led to Brexit will be examined in great detail — and much anguish on the Remain side — for years to come. Rapid changes in the UK’s political climate undoubtedly played a part, and global events including the Great Recession and recent European migrant crisis have left their mark.

But for now we can focus on what we know in the immediate aftermath of the vote: the distinguishing characteristics of the areas of Britain that voted for either side. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Polling has dominated coverage of the UK’s EU referendum for the last month, with the focus shifting between the polls’ reliability following their 2015 misfire, the methodological challenges pollsters face, and the Remain vs Leave race itselfRead more

John Burn-Murdoch

Remain led by several points in late 2015, but saw its lead eroded at first gradually, and then quickly as 2016 wore on, before Leave went ahead over the last weekThe way our model calculates the average from the remaining five polls in its basket after outliers are removed is completely unchanged, but the polls in that basket should be more representative of where the ‘true’ opinion of the electorate lies.

After this change, our poll-of-polls has Leave on 45, two points ahead of Remain. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Spain lead the Financial Times' predictions for Euro 2016, just ahead of Germany and then hosts FranceThe European Football Championships are upon us, and with them an eclectic mix of prediction models from media organisations, financial institutions and independent statisticians. To assuage our FOMO (fear of missing out, for the non-Millennials), the FT has joined in with one of our own.

Spain are favourites to lift the trophy, narrowly ahead of Germany and hosts France, based on our method which uses Champions League appearances and players’ market values to determine each team’s strength. This trio of teams comes in well ahead of the other 21 countries taking part.

Read on for details of the model and how it compares to the betting markets. Read more