Things we read in January and February 2018

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Following our December round-up (and skipping January), here is our list of the 13 must-read stories that caught our eye in January and February 2018.

#1 Invest more or be ready to face inflation

“Factories across the globe warned they are finding it increasingly hard to keep up with demand, potentially forcing them to raise prices as the world economy looks set to enjoy its strongest year since 2011.”

More here.

 

#2 U.S. employers are reluctant to raise wages. Corporate tax cuts don’t change that.

Bonus time - will the same be true in the UK?

 

#3 A new "colourful" way to measure UK confidence?

As worries about Brexit rise, drivers have gone back to buying cars in dark colours.

More here.

 

#4 Trading with the US, the 33 billion hole

Statisticians are struggling to reconcile differing trade figures either side of the Atlantic

More here.

 

#5 How to interpret a market plunge

Are the fundamentals strong?

 

#6 Robot density rises globally - 2016 data

The automation of production is accelerating around the world: 74 robot units per 10,000 employees is the new average of global robot density in the manufacturing industries.

Find out where the UK ranks.

 

#7 The UK’s specialism in services does not mean it’s entered a “post-geography trading world”

Topical – but it seems some commentators have still had enough of experts.

More here.

 

#8 Spotting Fake News

“The case for everyday practical numeracy has never been more urgent. Statistical claims fill our newspapers and social media feeds, unfiltered by expert judgment and often designed as a political weapon.”

Tim Harford sets out his guide to statistics in a misleading age.

And here is the original that inspired Tim’s postcard - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Money (But Were Afraid to Ask)

 

#9 A weak dollar equals good news? Well, as always, it depends…

More here.

 

#10 Data and technology are going to revolutionize the health and pharma sector

Read how here.

 

#11 Why Microsoft Office is a bigger productivity drain than Candy Crush

Should the government try to maximise happiness?

 

#12 Four stories of automation

“Cotton pickers. Shelf-scanners at Walmart. Quality control at building sites. Radiologists. These are just four examples of jobs that are being transformed and even sometime eliminated by the newest wave of automated and programmable machinery. Here are four short stories from various sources, which of course represent a much broader transformation happening across the global economy.”

More here.

 

#13 The difference between Europe’s “customs union” and “single market”

Because people still don’t know the difference.

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