The announcement of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme stole the headlines last month, but lower growth and inflation prospects have led to interest rate cuts by many of the world’s central banks in the first part of this year.
David Cameron is taking a leaf from Shinzo Abe’s book. “It’s time Britain had a pay rise,” the UK prime minister plans to tell business leaders on Tuesday (unlike the Japanese prime minister, he will deliver his message in a speech rather than over a few rounds of golf.) It seems like a political no-brainer with an election in May and a workforce that has suffered six years of real terms pay cuts. But is it really that simple? And what can Mr Cameron do about it anyway? Here are six charts that explain what is really going on.
1. It’s true that UK workers have suffered a brutal real-terms pay cut since the crisis.
The world is awash with even more debt than before the financial crisis. Use the FT interactive tool to compare countries’ debt levels Read more
Roger Federer was eliminated from the Australian Open when he lost a match in which he won the majority of the points.
Was it a one-off, or a sign of an underlying issue? And how does his rival Rafael Nadal compare when it comes to winning the biggest points in tennis? Find out in our interactive graphic Read more
From General Motors in the 1950s, to Apple today, the list of the top US companies by net profits tell a story about how the American economy has changed through the ages. Explore this history with our interactive graphic. Read more
Guest post by Paul Hodges
The UK’s ageing population is creating major headwinds for economic growth, data published last month Office of National Statistics shows. Read more
Unit labour costs in Greece have fallen further than in any other European country since 2010, down almost 15 per cent. Costs in other eurozone periphery states have also fallen; in Spain and Portugal they have fallen by over 5 per cent.
Earlier this week the charity Oxfam released a paper ahead of the world economic forum in Davos that claimed that the wealthiest 1 per cent of the world’s population were on track to own half the world’s wealth by 2016.
Others have pointed out problems with this data. To calculate an individual’s wealth the Credit Suisse data takes debts away from assets to give a figure for net wealth. Anyone with debts greater than their assets has negative wealth. Read more
By David Blood and Aleksandra Wisniewska
More than 2,500 people are attending the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, but how are they connected outside of the picturesque alpine town?
156 players have reached the top ten of the ATP men’s singles rankings since they were established in 1973. How do they compare on success and longevity?
Find out in our interactive graphic Read more
The weakening rouble and the recession will cause a 24-per cent contraction in new cars sales in Russia this year, to the levels last seen in 2009. Read more
All ten of the areas that saw the biggest increases in their share of British jobs since 1978 are in the service sector, with the majority being among those in the caring professions and those providing professional services.
Before the 1980s the rate at which the US imprisoned people wasn’t particularly high but after the closure of mental hospitals, the rate of violent crime began to increase and soon after so did the rate at which it imprisoned people. However there are differences between mental health patients and the prison population, the former tended to be more likely to be women, white and older whereas the prison population is more likely to be young, black and male. Read more
The UK’s ‘two speed’ housing market is not a novel concept, but new figures highlight the regional and political split like never before.
Use our interactive graphic to explore how geography and politics divide fortunes in Britain’s property market. Read more
Renewables outstripped lignite, the most polluting form of coal, as Germany’s top power source for the first time ever in 2014.
This was a big milestone for the country’s energy transition, or Energiewende, which aims to use renewables for 80 per cent of Germany’s energy needs by 2050, and to stop using nuclear energy by 2022. Read more
The conflict in Ukraine has pushed the country’s inflation to a 14-year high. Consumer prices rose by nearly a quarter in 2014 and fruits now cost one and a half times more than a year ago.
One of the reasons for the drastic rise in the CPI inflation rate – from 0.5 per cent in 2013 to 24.9 per cent last year – was the government raising higher tariffs on natural gas and other services to fight the deficit. 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
Lines of succession in the House of Saud Read more
The global crisis left many economies heavily indebted. But there are ways policy makers can repair the damage Read more
Losses of large ships have been steadily declining over the past decade; 94 ships of more than 100 gross tons were lost at sea in 2013, down 45 percent from 2003.
Most accidents in the Northern Hemisphere occur in January whereas July is the worst month in the Southern Hemisphere. Read more