Athens’ stocks fell 12.8 per cent on Tuesday partly due to investors’ concerns about the radical left Syriza party winning power. But public anger is understandable: in total, Greek gross domestic product has fallen 26 per cent from its pre-crisis peak.

 

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Keith Fray

 

People in the UK are more likely to support a third party rather than vote Conservative or Labour in the general election next May, say pollsters YouGov. Supp0ort for Ukip and the Scottish National party has risen sharply.

 

 

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Real wages in Germany and the US have risen slightly since the financial crisis, whereas in the UK they have fallen 7.5 per cent. But Spain has really suffered, with real wages down by a quarter.

 

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Oil is not the only commodity to suffer a price fall. Commodities have been falling in general this year after a decade-long boom — driven by China’s rapid economic growth. Now as its economy has slowed, demand and prices have fallen.

 

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Overall the BRC-Nielsen shop price index, which measures the changes in prices of 500 commonly bought items, records a fall in prices of 1.9 per cent year on year. Non-food prices fell by 2.9 per cent in November while food fell by 0.2 per cent.

The news comes after data from the Living Costs and Food survey — released on Tuesday — showed the extent to which living standards were squeezed following the financial crisis. Spending on housing, fuel and power became the largest category of spending in 2011 as increasing energy bills and a greater proportion of the population became renters. At the same time transport, the previous highest category, fell as more drivers economised due to higher petrol prices. Read more

Keith Fray

 

Chancellor George Osborne presents his latest take on the UK’s finances on Wednesday. The share of government debt in national income is at its highest since the late 1960s, but Bank of England estimates back to the 19th century show that the debt share has usually been higher.

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