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  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The political and economic events taking place in Greece and across Europe are shaking confidence in the future of the euro zone, and the spotlight has been focused on where the economic future of Europe lies. This report provides a snapshot of The Economist Intelligence Unit's outlook for some of Europe's most important as well as some of its most fragile member states: Greece, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Ireland. Each article analyses current political and economic events, forecasting short- and long-term trends that help you to influence decision-making and economic outcomes for your business.
  • Political Geography: Greece, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Now, more than ever, financial institutions require authoritative and trusted assessments of credit risk to pursue profitable opportunities in challenging markets. This report provides a snapshot of some of the capabilities of The Economist Intelligence Unit's (The EIU's) risk assessment services. It analyses risk scenarios in depth, to help you understand and respond to risks that could impact your business. The EIU can help you assess and compare cross-border credit and financial risk in 128 markets worldwide. Our Country Risk Service provides in-depth ratings enables you to swiftly identify countries which are experiencing a deterioration or improvement in creditworthiness and to rank countries in order of riskiness, it's a valuable tool to help your organisation to optimise its country credit limits.
  • Topic: Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Greece, Brazil, Italy
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The growth rates witnessed in markets across Latin America in the decade to 2010 pulled millions out of poverty, led to rapid growth of the middle class and helped to demonstrate the promise of emerging markets. Since then, however, growth has slowed dramatically across the region. 2015 will mark the fifth successive year of deceleration in Latin America, which has slowed more than any other emerging market region. With concerns over the ability of emerging markets to withstand a slowdown in China and monetary policy normalisation in the US growing, risks to the growth and financing outlook for Latin America persist. However, as economic recovery starts to gather pace in the region, opportunities for investment and growth will also re-emerge. This report provides a snapshot of the current political and economic landscape in the region, and in some of Latin America’s largest economies: Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. Each article analyses key concerns and presents our view of the outlook going forward, helping you to influence decision-making and economic outcomes for your business.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: After the plunge in commodity prices in 2015, the outlook for raw materials remains highly uncertain amid slowing economic growth in China and looming interest rate rises in the US. In China—which gobbles up nearly one-half of the world’s consumption of aluminium, copper and coal—demand for base materials risks moderating further as the economy moves away from an investment-driven growth model. This will continue to have knock-on effects on the performance of commodity-exporting economies, weighing down on global consumption of raw materials. However, supply responses are beginning to emerge from commodity producers worldwide. Coupled with less favourable weather prospects, this will lead to some market tightening next year, allowing for some price stabilisation after four years of decline. This report provides a snapshot of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s current commodity price indexes, exploring the changing prices for industrial raw materials and food, feedstuffs & beverages. Each article provides analysis and forecasts across a number of key commodities, helping you to assess the fast-changing environment of commodity markets and influence key decision-making processes.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Despite Abenomics driving consumer confidence and price inflation, a weaker yen has pushed Osaka and Tokyo away from the top of the cost of living ranking. This has paved the way for Singapore, which has been steadily moving up the ranking over the last decade, to claim the unenviable title of world's most expensive city. Singapore's rising price prominence has been steady rather than spectacular. The city-state was 18th most expensive ten years ago and has actually seen the cost of living compared with New York City decline over the last 12 months. However, over the last decade a 40% currency appreciation, coupled with solid price inflation, has consistently pushed Singapore up the ranking.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources, Food, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: New York, Tokyo, Singapore
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Women's political and economic empowerment has been a defining feature of the last century. Millions of women in the early 1900s rejected convention and ignorance to fi ght for the right to vote. Thirty years later the daughters and granddaughters of those suffragettes, defying stereotypes, flocked to factories to help build the machines that won the second world war. The next generation of women secured their rights in law, then entered the workforce in droves, fuelling economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s. At the start of the 21st century women are not just enfranchised and fully engaged in the workplace, but leading global corporations and countries of every size. Germany's Angela Merkel, Liberia's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and Pepsico's Indra Nooyi are three among many. Yet after a century of impressive progress, overall economic opportunities for women still lag those of men. Women, on average, earn 75% of their male co-workers' wages, and the difference cannot be explained solely by schooling or experience. In many countries, women have fewer educational and employment opportunities than men, are more often denied credit, and endure social restrictions that limit their chances for advancement. In some developing countries women still cannot vote, own property or venture outside the home without a male family member.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Reform
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Human Welfare
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In the debate over global manufacturing competitiveness, the labour cost question looms largest. The rapid growth in Chinese wages is having an impact not only on firms currently manufacturing in China, but also on emerging economies seeking to grab a share of that manufacturing activity (like Vietnam and Bangladesh) and developed countries seeking to revive their own manufacturing sectors (like the US). Rising wages in China could threaten the country's status as a manufacturing powerhouse if they are not matched by comparable gains in productivity.
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, United States, China, Vietnam
  • Author: Leo Abruzzese
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: After a series of setbacks, the global economy is slowly mending US economy is strengthening; star performer Jobs market is on a modest upswing Housing is bouncing back China is recovering from a slowdown Boom years are over, but so is the slump European debt crisis is stabilizing but austerity is killing the economy Euro zone remains big drag on global growth Japan is showing signs of recovery under a new government Central banks are supporting the bounce - back in a big way Don't expect a brisk recovery, though; many risks remains Debt levels still high; asset prices are volatile; tensions in Middle East, China, Kore and has stabilised in Europe, but at a low level. In Germany, manufacturing output is rising again.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: For the first time in at least two decades of reporting the worldwide cost of living survey Zurich sits atop the ranking as the world's most expensive city. An index swing of 34 percentage points pushed the Swiss city up 4 places compared to last year to overtake Tokyo which remains in 2nd place. Geneva, the other Swiss city surveyed saw a 30 percentage point rise in the cost of living to move up six places into joint third alongside Osaka.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Economics, Markets, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Tokyo
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Africa is drawing increasing attention, not only from the perspective of businesses based in China and Europe, but also from operators in Africa itself. In particular, closer economic ties between Africa and China have been covered extensively by the media recently—with fairly mixed reviews. This paper highlights the potential, challenges and risks for doing business in Africa over the next few years.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Women are a key driver of economic growth. In the second half of the 20th century, the entry of women into the workforce helped to propel most of the world's developed economies. In the United States, an expanded pool of workers—from the emergence of the baby-boom generation and the rising number of women in the workplace—added nearly 2 percentage points a year to economic growth. Since 1995, the narrowing gap between male and female employment has accounted for a quarter of Europe's annual GDP growth. Today, women in the developing world are poised to have a similar impact—if they can be properly educated, equipped and empowered.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The issue of high-speed internet access remains at the forefront of the policy agenda in both developed and emerging markets. While circumstances and concerns differ from one country to the next, the motivations for public-sector involvement remain the same. Governments are keen to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas by bringing basic broadband services of between 1Mbps and 5Mbps to all. Yet governments also want to facilitate greater rollout of so-called next-generation networks (NGNs) that can provide broadband speeds of between 40Mbps and 100Mbps, and sometimes higher.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Science and Technology, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Three years after the global economy reached its lowest point in three-quarters of a century, the recovery remains incomplete and the outlook uncertain. On March 9th 2009, the capitalisation of Morgan Stanley\'s global stockmarket index fell to US$26trn, nearly 60% below its 2007 peak. Today, the value of the world\'s stockmarkets has yet to return to the pre-crisis level—nor has the confidence of most consumers and businesses. The excesses of the last ten years—the personal debt accumulated early in the last decade and the public debt added during the recession—have saddled many countries with weak economic foundations and little or no resilience to shocks. This has left the US economy, in particular, struggling for a third straight year to lock in faster growth. It has left debt-ravaged Europe in recession and China manoeuvring unsteadily to deflate a bubble. On the brighter side, the global economy will grow again this year and the imbalances that built up over the past decade will continue to unwind. But global growth will be slower this year than last, and a host of risks—from elevated oil prices to war in the Middle East, to the collapse of Europe\'s single currency—will weigh on confidence and reduce spending and investment.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The new government in Myanmar has made a series of liberalising gestures over the past year, raising hopes that it is serious about meaningful political reform. Coming after national elections in November 2010, the release from house-arrest of the pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, and by-elections in 2012, many observers are concluding that Myanmar is finally embarking on a process of genuine democratisation. Aung San Suu Kyi is among those who have expressed optimism over future changes in the country, with her confidence bolstered by the release of hundreds of political prisoners in recent months. As ties with Western governments slowly thaw, there is now a high probability that sanctions and other restrictions on trade and investment will be lifted over the next year or so, and foreign investors are taking note of the opportunities that could soon present themselves.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Fossil fuels will continue to dominate China's energy mix, although renewable energy will carve out a bigger role. The large market for clean technology that this provides will give succour to firms in the sector—those, that is, that are able to survive their present difficulties.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The loosening of administrative restrictions on licensing and related remittances in 1991 led to an increase in the number of international licensing agreements in India. Many foreign companies involved in India use a combination of exporting, licensing and direct investment.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Industrial Policy, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Global food prices rose twice as fast as inflation in the last decade, impoverishing millions at a time when poverty relief captured the world's attention. Huge price swings for wheat, maize, soybeans and rice—staple crops for much of the world—made matters worse, disrupting markets and harming both producers and consumers. The food riots that swept more than two dozen countries in 2008 and 2011 were the most visible effect of these trends, but they also point to a deeper and more lasting concern: chronic food insecurity.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Food
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Earlier this year the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) teamed up with data sharing company BuzzData to host a competition offering users the opportunity to combine data from the Worldwide Cost of Living and Liveability surveys with other sources to provide a ranking of their own. Here Jon Copestake, the Editor of the EIU's Cost of Living and Liveability surveys, discusses his experience of the competition.
  • Topic: Demographics, International Trade and Finance, Culture, Urbanization
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The rise and decline of great cities past was largely based on their ability to draw the ambitious and the restless from other places. China's cities are on the rise. Their growth has been fuelled both by the large-scale internal migration of those seeking better lives and by government initiatives encouraging the expansion of urban areas. The government hopes that the swelling urban populace will spend more in a more highly concentrated retail environment, thereby helping to rebalance the Chinese economy towards private consumption.
  • Topic: Communism, Demographics, Development, Economics, Migration, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The International Energy Agency speculates that we could be entering a “golden age of gas.” If that is the case Australia is set to be a key contributor to it. While much attention has been paid to the shale gas boom in North America and prospects for the spread of the “shale gas revolution” elsewhere, Australia has been positioning itself to emerge as a leading player in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market by the end of this decade.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Australia, Australia/Pacific, North America
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, The Economist ran a cover with the title “Africa: The Hopeless Continent”. Today, this has been replaced by “Africa Rising” (last December's issue)—a reflection of the changes that the continent has experienced over a decade. What has engineered Africa's rise through difficult times? It is predominantly the emergence of the BRICs, particularly India and China, that has helped to put Africa back on the map of development and investor interests.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Infrastructure, Financial Crisis, Urbanization
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Banks in emerging markets are increasingly weighty in global finance and still enjoy plenty of room to grow in their home markets. But they will do so in innovative ways that set them apart from the lenders of the developed world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Science and Technology
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The last few years have presented a series of challenges and learning opportunities for the microfinance sector. During the last few decades the microfinance industry experienced substantial growth, but eventually this resulted in market saturation, a rise of The last few years have presented a series of challenges and learning opportunities for the microfinance sector. During the last few decades the microfinance industry experienced substantial growth, but eventually this resulted in market saturation, a rise of non-performing loans and multiple lending across a few key markets. The global financial crisis then increased the focus on risk management, corporate governance and regulatory capacity. Most recently, the Andhra Pradesh microfinance credit crisis that unfolded in India has raised serious questions about the viability of microfinance as a valid development modality.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Andhra Pradesh
  • Author: Martin Adams
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The bulk of the world's proven oil reserves are concentrated in places that are hostile to the West, unstable or a combination of the two. Since the US is the world's largest importer of oil, concerns about energy security have long simmered in Washington. On top of this, global oil prices have hit new highs in recent years and remained persistently strong. This adds to anxieties about the security of energy supplies and places a burden on the US economy. Partly as a result of elevated prices, however, something new—and, arguably, revolutionary—has happened.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: On November 8th this year China will begin the once-a-decade process of changing its leaders, with the launch of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This will, by coincidence, come just two days after the US presidential elections. Both events will have momentous repercussions, both for the countries involved and for the world, but they will mark a study in contrasts. Unlike the US, China's succession battles are being waged in near secrecy, yet observers are already sure who the next president and premier will be. Less clear is what exactly China's new leadership will stand for. This report will examine their backgrounds and policy positions, asking what we can expect from the incoming administration.
  • Topic: Communism, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Markets of the future—China, India, Brazil and Russia—will become the dominant retail markets l Africa, the final frontier—as BRIC opportunities diminish retailers will look to Africa as a driver of growth l Virtual marketplace— e-commerce, m-commerce and s-commerce—will transform the global retail landscape l Bricks and mortar will fight back as traditional retailers respond to change by integrating online with physical store offerings l Convenience will be king as shopping habits evolve into a multichannel approach rather than “one-stop shopping” l UK focus: polarised shopping habits could continue even when incomes recover, leading to an even greater squeeze on mid-market retail by 2022.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, United Kingdom, India, Brazil
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Last year we published Industries in 2012 and made a number of predictions about developments in our six key industries – Automotive, Consumer Goods and Retail, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare and Telecommunications. Some of our predictions were prescient, others were premature.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Global Recession
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In 2012 Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran's oil and gas industry, aimed at putting economic pressure on it to change its nuclear policy, have reached an unprecedented level. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Iran has been in a state of hostility with the US, and has had cool relations, at best, with most European states. Sanctions against official Iranian financial institutions, individuals associated with the Islamic Republic and organisations suspected of being involved in nuclear proliferation activities have been mounting for some time. However, it is only recently that Iran's oil and gas sector has been specifically targeted by both the US and the EU in such a co-ordinated manner. Importantly, this marks the first time since the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran that the EU member states have collectively put in place sanctions on the export of Iranian crude oil—until now an action that, with a few exceptions, had only been taken by the US. The stakes have therefore been raised in Iran's confrontation with Western powers over the nuclear issue.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Islam, Oil, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations. Every city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgment of in-house analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points. The scores are then compiled and weighted to provide a score of 1–100, where 1 is considered intolerable and 100 is considered ideal. The liveability rating is provided both as an overall score and as a score for each category. To provide points of reference, the score is also given for each category relative to New York and an overall position in the ranking of 140 cities is provided.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Environment, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Kilbinder Dosanjh
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The human cost Many companies (Sony, Toyota) have shut factories in affected area As much as 10% of national power production temporarily down Rolling blackouts will continue until end-April.
  • Topic: Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Leo Abruzzese
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: A serious deficit-reduction debate is underway. Despite wide policy differences, this is encouraging and long overdue. Agreement on some basic steps may happen soon. A serious, long-term deal won't happen until after the election. A credible plan will require revenue increases. These won't come quickly or easily, but they are unavoidable, The debt ceiling will be raised, amidst much drama. The US will not default on its debt. The US economy is still recovering...but higher energy and food prices are creating headwinds.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Five months after the Arab uprising started in Tunisia, it has become possible to glimpse the likely outcomes for the region. The first section of this report traces the main political scenarios.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Oman
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Tokyo holds the dubious honour of once again being the world's most expensive city. Until 2006, Tokyo had been at the top of the global cost-of-living ranking for 14 uninterrupted years before low inflation, weak consumer confidence and a declining Japanese yen reduced the cost of living. Between 2006 and 2009 Oslo and then Paris were the costliest cities in the survey, with Tokyo pushed down to fifth place in the ranking.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Paris, Tokyo, Oslo
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In the run-up to the global financial crisis, the euro area looked very much like a microcosm of the world economy. The region as a whole grew in line with its long-term trend, and its trade position with the outside world was broadly in balance. However, the euro area's aggregate position masked large variations across the member states. In some parts of the region (notably countries on the geographical periphery), demand grew consistently faster than output; in others (like Germany), the reverse was the case. Profligacy in the periphery was funded by thrift in the "core". This arrangement suited both sides.for a time at least. While countries in the periphery enjoyed debt-fuelled booms, countries such as Germany, where domestic demand was weak, could rely on exports to keep growing.
  • Topic: Debt, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Caroline Bain
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Global oil consumption grew by 3.4% in 2010, rebounding from a contraction of 1% in 2009. Consumption growth will slow in 2011-14 but remain relatively strong.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Oil
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Libya's rebels have pushed the regime of Muammar Qadhafi out of power, and are poised to take complete control of the country. This in itself is a monumental achievement, but it marks only the start of what is likely to be a long and fraught process of rehabilitation. The new leadership must rebuild a state that for decades was run on the whims of an authoritarian leader, determined both to monopolise and to hold on to power. There are few institutions that work, and even fewer that work to the benefit of the general population, so the challenge amounts to little short of building a functioning state from scratch. Views on what form that state should take are as diverse as the regional, ideological and sectarian interests making up its would-be architects, and these stake holders must be persuaded to support the process — or at least not to obstruct it — before it can even begin.
  • Topic: Development, Oil, Political Economy, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia, North Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Foreign companies continue to be attracted by the opportunities offered by China's large and rapidly growing economy. China has a population of over 1.3bn, and the size of the economy is likely to grow to just under US$13trn a year at market exchange rates by 2015. Although GDP per head will still be relatively low by the end of the forecast period, at just under US$10,000 a year, this will represent a substantial improvement from just under US$4,500 in 2010. Significant regional disparities within China will persist. The provinces of the eastern seaboard enjoy standards of living well above the national average. However, there are also markets to be found in inland China, where many large cities are located. To some extent, the size of the population and the pace of economic growth belie the challenges of operating in China. Nationwide distribution networks will increasingly be put in place, but the Chinese market is likely still to be a fragmented one by 2015.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Foreign companies continue to be attracted by the opportunities offered by China's large and rapidly growing economy. China has a population of over 1.3bn, and the size of the economy is likely to grow to just under US$13trn a year at market exchange rates by 2015. Although GDP per head will still be relatively low by the end of the forecast period, at just under US$10,000 a year, this will represent a substantial improvement from just under US$4,500 in 2010. Significant regional disparities within China will persist. The provinces of the eastern seaboard enjoy standards of living well above the national average. However, there are also markets to be found in inland China, where many large cities are located. To some extent, the size of the population and the pace of economic growth belie the challenges of operating in China. Nationwide distribution networks will increasingly be put in place, but the Chinese market is likely still to be a fragmented one by 2015.
  • Topic: Demographics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses. The survey originated as a means of testing whether Human Resource Departments needed to assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. While this function is still a central potential use of the survey, it has also evolved as a broad means of benchmarking cities. This means that liveability is increasingly used by city councils, organisations or corporate entities looking to test their locations against others to see general areas where liveability can differ.
  • Topic: Crime, Demographics, Economics, Political Economy, Social Stratification
  • Author: Ben Jones
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Greece is not unique. Investors are finding it hard to judge which countries are "safe" or price for that risk. The EFSF is too small to buy the debt of larger states on the scale needed to stabilise markets. The EFSF cannot be scaled up in its current form without threatening the AAA ratings of the creditor countries.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Debt, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Ana Nicholls
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Market size: Medical tourism is not new, but it is growing. Global shift: The flow of travel from developed to developing world. Marketing: How developing countries are targeting the industry. EIU ranking: Why some countries are better placed to benefit than others. US, Europe and Asia trends: The effect of healthcare reforms, budget cuts, and growing wealth. The barriers: The need to harmonise standards and regulations.
  • Topic: Globalization, Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, microfinance has begun to enter a more mature and sustainable growth phase. After years of rapid expansion, the focus has turned to accelerating the improvements already underway in corporate governance, regulatory capacity and risk management. Indeed, risk management, which has become a post-crisis priority for all financial institutions, has improved considerably in the microfinance sector, which is essential, given that it is offering an increasingly diversified range of innovative financial services to the poor. Efforts to strengthen the sector sit comfortably beside new opportunities; microfinance is well positioned to take further advantage of technological and market innovations and to build on improvements already underway.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Governance
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: As the third edition of our government broadband report shows, the issue of high-speed internet access remains at the forefront of the policy agenda in both developed and emerging markets. While circumstances and concerns differ from one country to the next, the motivations for public-sector involvement remain the same. Governments are keen to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas by bringing basic broadband services of between 1Mbps and 5Mbps to all. Yet governments also want to facilitate greater rollout of so-called next-generation networks (NGNs) that can provide broadband speeds of between 40Mbps and 100Mbps, and sometimes higher.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Science and Technology, Governance
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Thirteen years since its launch, Europe's common currency is in crisis. A Greek debt restructuring is inevitable, and concern is now focusing on contagion among the larger euro area economies. The prospect of a cascade of disorderly sovereign defaults is chilling investors, and the departure of some members from the common currency is increasingly being discussed. The Economist Intelligence Unit's central forecast is that the currency area will survive, but the odds of failure are too high to ignore. To help clients anticipate the implications for their operations of a collapse in the euro zone, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ), exploring the potential scope and impact of a euro-area break-up. We look at what “break-up” could mean, although in practice numerous possible permutations exist between the extremes of departure by a single country and the exit of all 17 members.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Worries about climate change are deepening in many countries. Proponents of gas, which burns cleaner than coal, suggest that it could be part of the answer—but preferably indigenous gas, for the sake of energy security. At the same time, even as energy demand surges ahead, the giants of the oil industry are finding it harder than ever to tap new reserves, which is forcing them to look to previously neglected, harder-to-reach hydrocarbons. Among these, hitherto disregarded shale gas reserves are generating the most enthusiasm.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: This is the fourth edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy index. It reflects the situation as of the beginning of December 2011. The first edition, published in The Economist's The World in 2007, measured the state of democracy in September 2006; the second edition covered the situation towards the end of 2008; and the third as of November 2010. The index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories—this covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world's independent states (micro states are excluded). The overall Democracy index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Author: Steven Leslie
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Business executives are sour about 2012. However, they are much more negative about the prospects for the global economy than for their own industries, and especially for their own companies. These are the headline findings from a global survey of more than 900 corporate decisionmakers about their expectations for 2012.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The results of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index 2008 confirm that, following a decades-long global trend in democratisation, the spread of democracy has come to a halt. Comparing the results for 2008 with those from the first edition of the index, which covered 2006, shows that the dominant pattern in the past two years has been stagnation. Although there is no recent trend of outright regression, there are few instances of significant improvement. However, the global financial crisis, resulting in a sharp and possibly protracted recession, could threaten democracy in some parts of the world.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, International Political Economy, Financial Crisis