Investment in Europe, both public and private, dropped dramatically following the international financial crisis, and in its aftermath growth has been weak in some countries and non-existent in others. The lack of investment growth is particularly worrying in peripheral countries where it hampers the chances of future economic and productivity growth, as well as limiting employment expansion.
Just how steep was the drop? Read more
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
Wealth disparities within EU countries were narrowing prior to the 2008 crisis, but since then the poorer regions have stopped catching up with the wealthiest ones.
“European countries converge at national level, but at the cost of a rising divergence within the countries” explain Joaquim Oliveira Head of the OECD Regional Development Policy Division in an interview with the FT. Read more
About two in three women aged 25 to 64 years old are in employment in the European Union, the highest proportion since the data series began 23 years ago. However, the EU average conceals considerable variation between regions.
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
Our new unemployment tracker shows the latest jobs data across the European Union, including top-line figures for each country’s constituent regions. The most recent figures are for September 2014.
You can also download the latest data using the link beneath the graphic. Read more
by Nassos Stylianou and John Burn-Murdoch
Between May 22 and 25, some 400 million people will be eligible to vote in the European Parliament elections. But how many of them will actually turn up at the ballot box?
Following 2009 treaty changes, the European Parliament will for the first time have a more direct role in electing the president of the European Commission , the EU’s executive arm, giving May’s election added significance.
Despite the increasing influence of the European Parliament, the percentage of those voting to elect its members has fallen in every election, from 62 per cent in 1979’s inaugural direct elections through to 43 per cent in 2009.
At the last European elections five years ago, less than half of those eligible voted in 18 of the 27 member states. In six countries, the turnout was below 30 per cent. In one country, Slovakia, less than one in five of those eligible voted.
Turnout in Germany, France and Italy – founding members of the common market – has eroded by more than 20 percentage points since then. In the UK, turnout was already low at 32.3 per cent in 1979 and levels have remained consistently below 40 per cent ever since.
However, several of the newer member states such as Estonia, Latvia and Bulgaria recorded a surge in turnout in 2009.
The UK Department for Transport is under fire over the cancellation of a deal to award a rail franchise, because of “technical flaws” in the bidding process.
The incident brings the British railway system back into the headlines, where it has often been because of contested fare rises. Complaints about the railways may be something of a national sport, but according to a survey published last month by Eurobarometer, the European Commission body that analyses public opinion, people in the UK are more satisfied with their national and regional rail system than most of their European counterparts. Read more
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
Markets promptly react to flash releases of economic indicators and large sums of money are lost or made based on zero-point-something percentage points of GDP growth. But, in the excitement of new economic data, it is worth remembering how data is subject to frequent and quite substantial revisions.
Notoriously, in 2010 Japan’s most watched economic indicator was drastically revised downwards, slicing off a full 3.5 percentage points from the annualised growth rate first reported for the third quarter of 2009, prompting soul searching about the quality of Japanese economic data. But revisions occur across many countries and not only after the flash releases.
An OECD database of the various edition of the monthly publication of the Main Economic Indicators (MEI) shows how widespread the issue is. Read more