Last year Volkswagen was the second-largest carmaker globally, accounting for almost 12 per cent of sales by volume, lagging only 0.1 per cent behind the largest, Toyota.

Martin Stabe

The Financial Times is working with the British Library to open up access to FT Digital Archive for academic research.

Extracts from the archive materials were used to produce the feature about Britain’s 1975 referendum on European Community membership that was published on today. Read more

The Greek election on Sunday will be the country’s third ballot this year. The most recent polling shows a tightening race between the leftist Syriza and the centre-right New Democratic, both holding just under a third of the vote. Support for the far-right Golden Dawn fell to its lowest level in a month.

Did you receive the press release? Were you offered an exclusive interview? Are you upping your journey down the engagement funnel?

Well, brace yourself – because the ranks of public relations professionals are growing. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that there may soon be more PRs than journalists in the UK. Read more

Valentina Romei

The Germans are the heaviest per-capita beer consumers among large economies. They drink about four times the amount imbibed by the French and roughly 50 per cent more than the British and the Americans.

Valentina Romei

Levels of household disposable income per capita are now similar or above pre-crisis levels in most countries. They are still below their 2007 level in Spain, but are improving. In Italy they remain at their lowest level.

Growth in investment in China’s fixed assets dropped to 10.9 per cent year on year in August, lagging behind analysts’expectations.

Valentina Romei

The population living in contracting economies is expected to rise to over 7 per cent of the global total this year, from 1.3 per cent in 2010, the highest proportion in 5 years. While the global economy is set to grow faster in 2015 than in the previous year, the proportion of population in contracting economies is expected to increase by 1.6 percentage points.

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Valentina Romei

Forget the mid-life crisis of the 40s, the peak age of a business person is fifty-something, at least according to an analysis of the Capital IQ database of global companies. Among the nearly 10 thousand Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of companies with a market capitalization of more than £150 million for which age information is available*, nearly half are in their fifties.

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American love their tracksuits and trainers. The US spends per person about twice the average European and 14 times the Chinese on sports goods, including equipment, athletic footwear and apparel.

Valentina Romei

The UK is home to nearly two-thirds of bankers earning more than €1m in the EU, according to the European Banking Association. High-earners in the UK make up a significantly higher proportion of the total bankers.

Longevity aside, how do the two monarchs and their effects on the country they ruled compare? Read more

Valentina Romei

Asian countries lead the league for number of admissions to Oxford University from non-UK applicants. Singapore has the highest admission rate, followed by China and Hong Kong.

Simon Greaves

Cotton prices in China fell 23 per cent year on year in August to a six-year low, a result of reduced demand and government policy measures. Read more

Andrew Whiffin

The average wealth of US lawmakers was estimated to be more than a million dollars in 2013. Senators are wealthier, with an average net worth of $2.7m, while house members have $840,000 on average

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

Sarah O'Connor

A pregnant ladyIf you’re pregnant, try to avoid financial crises – they’re bad for your unborn baby’s health. That’s the conclusion of a research paper to be presented at the annual congress of the European Economic Association in Mannheim this week.

Arna Vardardottir, assistant professor in the economics department at Copenhagen Business School, used detailed data from Iceland’s National Birth Register to investigate what happened to babies who were in the womb in the first week of October 2008 when all three of Iceland’s banks suddenly collapsed, taking the economy with them. Read more

Simon Greaves

European demand for Scottish seafood has fallen, due to trade disruption in Calais caused by the migrant crisis. Lengthy delays last month at the Channel tunnel and ferry terminals as thousands of migrants attempted to gain access to the UK through the French port, hit exporters of perishable goods with produce ruined before delivery. Read more

Simon Greaves

European Union orange prices have increased 13 per cent year on year since March as the forecast harvest is set to be down 14 per cent from last season, to 5.7m tonnes. Read more

Robin Kwong

Boko Haram’s deadly attacks have menaced Nigeria for the last five years, with hundreds of deadly attacks claiming nearly 13,000 lives. Read more