The 2015-16 El Niño episode has been either the most or one of the most intense on record, depending on which measure you use.
Going on sea surface temperatures alone, the latest El Niño narrowly edges out 1997-98, the previous strongest. Temperatures in the Niño 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean — the most commonly used of the regions scientists measure for signs of an developing El Niño or La Niña conditions — peaked at 2.37°C above the long term trend in November 2015, just ahead of the 2.33°C mark reached in 1997. Read more
If the UK were to leave the European Union, it will mean that it will also be outside the Capital Markets Union (CMU), when completed. The CMU is a set of measures designed to clear obstacles between companies and potential investors. The idea – in the words of the European Commission that created it – is “to mobilise capital and channel it to all companies, including SMEs, and infrastructure projects that need it to expand and create jobs”.
The EU economy is slightly bigger than that of the US, but its capital market is very different. Its equity market is about half the size of that of the US and its securitisation market is less than a quarter of the US. Read more
The bookies say it will be the Carolina Panthers, and there’s one clear statistic to back that up: the Panthers won 15 out of the 16 games in the regular season, compared to the Denver Bronco’s 12.
That should make the Panthers favourites, but the best team in the regular season is not a shoo-in to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Read more
With the oil price falling, the US oil and gas extraction sector lost about 17,000 jobs-8 per cent- in the year from its peak in December 2014. The fall is larger than in the year to December 2009, when the sector lost nearly 12,000 jobs.
“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
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
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
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
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
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)
FT analysis of new Census Bureau data shows the scale of the task facing the Obama administration Read more
by Gavin Jackson and Keith Fray
On Tuesday the International Monetary Fund released its latest World Economic Outlook. A striking new finding emerges: the seven largest emerging markets are now bigger, in gross domestic product terms, than the long established G7 group of industrialised nations, when measured at purchasing power parity (PPP). Read more
After five years of historically low interest rates across the US, UK and eurozone, Wednesday’s vastly improved job forecast from the Bank of England raised the prospect of a return to more normal monetary policy.
A report out today from McKinsey attempts to quantify the impact of years of ultra lose monetary policy has been on the winners – and losers. Whilst there are few surprises in the report, it does attempt to put numbers on the winners and losers.
Unsurprisingly, it is governments that come out on top. The consultancy estimates that between 2007 and 2012 the US, UK and eurozone governments collectively benefited to the tune of $1.6tr from lower borrowing costs and the increased profits from central banks.
For consumers though it is a mixed bag. Read more
Gentrification and commercial developments are breaking up Chinatowns in US and British cities, squeezing Chinese communities out of the vibrant neighbourhoods that grew up around earlier generations of migrants.
The changing demographics of New York City further highlight this pattern, with Asian communities having sprung up in Flushing and Queens, where they were traditionally focused in Lower Manhattan.
The animated maps above show decadal changes in the spread of localised Chinese and Asian communities in London, New York and San Francisco, created using data from the 2001 and 2011 editions of the UK census and the US censuses of 2000 and 2010. Read more
By David Donald of the Center for Public Integrity and James Politi. Interactive graphic by Caroline Nevitt, Tom Pearson and Martin Stabe.
US sequestration impact per capita
Automatic US government spending cuts that took effect in March are threatening local economies across the country.
Counties that benefited from high levels of federal spending in recent years and weathered the recession better than the rest of the country could be especially hard-hit, an analysis of so-called “sequestration” by the Financial Times and the Center for Public Integrity has found.
Update, 3 October: The New Mexico county that is home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, faces the greatest per-capita impact of any county in the United States, at more than $6,000 per person. Areas with military bases, such as Christian county, Kentucky, are also particularly hard hit. Across the 388 counties in the US that have one or more military installation, the sequestration impact per capita is $312. That is nearly twice as high as in the 2,727 counties without a military installation, where the sequestration impact per capita is $171.
Use the interactive graphic below to see how the impact is distributed around the United States and how your county fares.
“No, I don’t mind working, but I do mind dying”, the Detroit blues singer Joe Lee Carter sang in 1965. The song exemplified the bustle – and tensions – of a burgeoning industrial city. Carter was working on the production line at Ford’s Rouge plant at the time.
Unfortunately for today’s inhabitants, there hasn’t been much opportunity to work in Detroit in recent years – and there has been all too much chance of dying. Read more
By Paul Hodges
Working women supercharged western economic growth from the 1980s, as they created the phenomenon of dual-income households for the first time in history. But today, this trend is reversing as women’s participation rates decline and their earnings plateau relative to men.
This major change risks undermining a key part of the US Federal Reserve’s strategy, which assumes that reducing the US unemployment rate to 6.5 per cent will help restore economic growth. The chart shows the reversal now underway:
Britain’s official statistics agency, in its analysis of how median income households have fared over time, has found a small consolation for those on the eastern side of the Atlantic. While UK income inequality is rising, middle-earners’ incomes are more closely related to economic growth than in the US.
The Office for National Statistics used inflation-adjusted data from the US Census Bureau and International Monetary Fund that cover the years 1984 to 2008. It found that US median equivalised disposable income grew at less than half the rate of its GDP per person. For example, by 2008 – the latest year for which data are available – US GDP per person had grown by 55.3 per cent while median incomes had only grown by 26.1 per cent since 1984. Read more