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Unit 2 Macro: Hurdle Rates and New Housebuilding

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The government wants more new homes to be built, so too do hard-pressed home-buyers facing a continued problem of low property affordability. But cautious construction companies are reluctant to press ahead favouring share buy-backs (returning money to their shareholders) and only a limited expansion of new building.

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UK Economy: Mind the Gap - Skills Shortages

Monday, March 17, 2014

Are skills shortages holding back the economic recovery? The Financial Times is running a video series looking at the problems businesses are having in recruiting people with technical skills. The apprenticeship programme is expanding but will it be enough to meet the growing gap between demand for and supply of engineers and other specialist jobs in industries surrounding precision engineering, nuclear power and many others? 

According to an article in the Financial Times:

"Migrants are filling a fifth of jobs in industries such as oil and gas extraction, aerospace manufacturing and computer, electronic and optical engineering because of a lack of skilled British graduates."

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Unit 2 Macro: Has 5 Years of Low Interest Rates helped the UK Economy?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Year 12 economist Tim Rawlinson considers some of the macroeconomic effects of five years of ultra low policy interest rates set by the Bank of England.

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Budget 2014 - A 15 Question Quiz

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The 2014 Budget will take place on Wednesday 19 March. Here is a general knowledge quiz on the Budget and the current state of the UK economy that you might want to take to test your understanding! Good luck! We will be covering the budget speech and the economic background to it extensively here on the Tutor2u blog.

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Unit 2 Macro: Ageing Infrastructure and Economic Growth

Here is a revealing quote from a special study published in March 2014

"Simply put, too much of the city’s essential infrastructure remains stuck in the 20th Century—a problem for a city positioning itself to compete with other global cities in today’s 21st Century economy."

Which city do you think this report was referring to?

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Unit 2 Macro: UK R&D Spending Remains Low

Thursday, March 13, 2014

For years the government has tried to lift research and development spending as a share of national income - but seemingly to no avail. The latest data finds that the UK is spending less on R&D than any other EU country. What might this mean for the supply-side competitiveness of the economy? 

The data finds that

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Quick Quiz on Developments in the UK Economy

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Test your UK economy awareness and general knowledge with this fifteen question quiz! Good luck! 

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Unit 2 Macro: Singapore listed as world’s most expensive city

Monday, March 10, 2014

Singapore is ranked as the most expensive city in the world to live in, according to new research on living costs published by the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is simply a coincidence that the Tutor2u team have been out in Singapore this week delivering their TBBLE, WOW Economics and Engaged Learner CPD events!

One of the main reasons for Singapore climbing to the summit is the staggering cost of owning a licence to use a vehicle. Purchasing a “Certificate of Entitlement” for a standard 1.6-litre engine can exceed 80,000 Singapore dollars ($63,300)! The strong currency is also an important factor together with prices for utilities.

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Unit 2 Macro: 5 Years of Low Interest Rates

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I am setting my AS macro students an essay this week evaluating the economic effects of five years of ultra-low monetary policy interest rates. Tom White blogged about this a day or so ago (click here) linking to an excellent article in the Guardian. It is a great way for students to deepen and broaden their understanding and awareness of recent developments in the UK economy.

Teaching colleagues covering monetary policy might want to use the data charts on interest rates contained in the PowerPoint file shown below.

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UK Economy: Mind the Gap: London v the Rest

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Mind the Gap! Evan Davis has produced two superb programmes on the regional imbalances in the UK economy. In the first he focuses on the agglomeration / network economies of scale that help to explain the skew in business investment towards the capital. In the second he looks at which cities elsewhere in the UK might be drivers of renewed growth of incomes, investment and growth! Here are the links:

Mind The Gap Episode 1 - click here

Mind The Gap Episode 2 - click here

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AS Macro Quick Revision Guide (Spring 2014 Edition)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Our new 44-page, full-colour printed revision guide is designed to support students preparing for their AS Economics exams on macroeconomics. The guide provides comprehensive coverage of the core macroeconomic topics for AS Economics, grouping them into the following areas:

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Unit 2 Macro: Economic Growth

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Here is a revision presentation for an AS Macro topic - economic growth

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Unit 2 Macro: Multiplier and Accelerator Effects

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Here is a revision presentation for an AS Macro topic - the multiplier effect, the accelerator effect and Keynesian economics

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Unit 2 Macro: The Economic Cycle

Friday, February 28, 2014

Here is a revision presentation for an AS Macro topic - the economic cycle

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Unit 2 Macro: Macroeconomic Equilibrium

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Here is a revision presentation for an AS Macro topic - macroeconomic equilibrium

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Paul Ormerod: Forward guidance needed for companies, not consumers!

Most of the commentary on the UK’s economic recovery focuses on consumers. Are they taking on too much debt again to finance their spending? Is there a bubble in house prices, as people get excited about bricks and mortar again? Certainly, in terms of its sheer size, spending by consumers is by far the biggest component of GDP, making up around 60 per cent of total domestic expenditure.

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Unit 2 Macro: Aggregate Supply

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Here is a revision presentation for an AS Macro topic - aggregate supply

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Growth and Development Challenges and Opportunities for Mexico

In this independent research assignment, Year 12 Economist Doug Feagin considers some of the factors influencing the macroeconomic performance of Mexico - a fascinating country and one of the MINT cluster of countries discussed by Jim O'Neill in his recent programmes for the BBC. 

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Unit 2 Macro: Aggregate Demand

Monday, February 24, 2014

Here is a revision presentation for an AS Macro topic - aggregate demand

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Unit 2 Macro: National Income and the Standard of Living

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Here is a revision presentation for an AS Macro topic - measuring national income and the standard of living

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Unit 2 Macro: Circular Flow and Macro Objectives

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Here is a revision presentation for an AS Macro topic - the circular flow and macroeconomic objectives

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Unit 2 Macro: Debt and Deficit explained using coloured sweets

Friday, February 21, 2014

The BBC's Hugh Pym helps us to avoid a common exam mistake - namely confusing debt with deficit.

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Unit 2 Macro: Hints on Exam Technique

Here is an updated revision presentation on aspects of exam technique for the Unit 2 AS Macro paper

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John Maynard Keynes - Video Resources

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A selection of video resources for students and teachers interested in Keynesian economics

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John Maynard Keynes - Video Resources

A selection of video resources for students and teachers interested in Keynesian economics

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The Problem With Hitting Targets - Deflation

Monday, February 17, 2014

As Japan continues to push forward with Abenomics, monetary stimulus tapers off in the USA and and a halt elsewhere in the world alongside still timid business and consumer confidence, deflation becomes a serious risk for the advanced economies in the short term future.

The area with the biggest concerns without doubt is the Eurozone with deflation pushing up the real value of still cripplingly large debt levels, worryingly that analysts, forecasters and Eurozone representatives are finding difficult to objectively quantify. What the world really needs to see is business confidence and spending to pick up in advanced economies, fuelling positive inflationary pressure dampening the impact of exported deflation from Japan as a result of Abenomics. The Euro Area have yet another worry to add to their ever growing sickness list, worth watching very closely as to what happens in the coming months. This video explains further:

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Robert Peston - How China Ruled the World

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Robert Peston looks at the astonishing investment in urban infrastructure in China in recent years - 30 new airports, 26,000 miles of motorways and a new skyscraper every five days have been built in China in the last five years - required viewing for those interested in a key aspect of Chinese economic growth and development. Link to How China Ruled the World (BBC World)

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Mark Carney redfines the MPC’s role again.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

He might have only had his feet under the Governor's desk for 8 months but BOE Governor Carney has announced changes to the role of the MPC for a second time as forward guidance has been overhauled.

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UK economy: Tidal Lagoons

Friday, February 07, 2014

Cost benefit analysis, economies of scale, energy economics, regional development, economic growth, competitiveness ... there is a veritable a tidal wave of applied economics in this article from the Guardian on plans for Tidal Lagoon Power.

Unit 2 Macro: Quiz Questions on the Labour Market

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Here is a resource (in editable word format) that I use when introducing the topic of unemployment - I find it works for students to get a sense of the numbers for employment and unemployment when we get onto the policy issues. The resource has the answers at the back!

Hope this might prove a useful classroom resource!

Here_are_some_questions_on_the_UK_labour_market.docx

Unit 2 Macro: 10 Questions on Multiplier and Accelerator

Here are ten questions for students wanting to check their understanding on the multiplier and the accelerator

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Unit 2 Macro: 10 Questions on Exchange Rates

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Here are ten questions for students wanting to check their understanding on exchange rates

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Unit 2 Macro: 10 Questions on Balance of Payments

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Here are ten questions for students wanting to check their understanding on the balance of payments

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Unit 2 Macro: 10 Questions on Inflation

Monday, February 03, 2014

Here are ten questions for students wanting to check their understanding on inflation and deflation

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Unit 2 Macro: 10 Questions on GDP and the Circular Flow

Friday, January 31, 2014

Here are ten questions for students wanting to check their understanding on GDP and the circular flow - before you take the quiz, check out our revision presentation first! 

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UK Boom and Bust?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

In this short interview from the Financial Times, John Authers discusses with Roger Bootle, managing director of Capital Economics about the sources of the resurgence in growth in the UK economy. Bootle argues that there is little sign of economic re-balancing, consumption is the main driver of recovery and net exports are subtracting from growth at the moment. 

The current account deficit is widening - Bootle find this a deeply depressing shift and hints that the UK economy remains heavily dependent on exporting to weak-growing European markets.

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Unit 2 Macro: 10 Questions on Economic Growth

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Here are ten questions for students wanting to check their understanding on economic growth

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UK Economic Recovery Gathers Momentum

New data on the UK economy shows another quarter of above trend growth. Here is an updated six chart presentation on the economic cycle that might be useful for teaching macro in the classroom. Download as a powerpoint file

UK_Economic_Cycle.pptx

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Unit 2 Macro: 10 Questions on Managing the Economy

Monday, January 27, 2014

Here are ten questions for students wanting to check their understanding on managing the economy

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Unit 2 Macro: 10 Questions on Unemployment

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Here is a quick revision quiz on the economics of unemployment! Good luck!

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30 Most Innovative Countries in the World

Friday, January 24, 2014

Successful innovation is a driving dynamic of competitive businesses and countries. Bloomberg Rankings recently examined 215 countries and sovereign regions to determine their innovation quotient. They have narrowed this down to thirty countries and the results are available through this Bloomberg slideshow. Which nation comes first?

Click here to find out

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Unit 2 Macro: 10 Questions on Supply-Side Policies

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Here are ten questions for students wanting to check their understanding on supply-side economic policies .... and improve their bobble shoot tekkers at the same time! Courtesy of our sister site Zondle

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UK Economy Biggest fall in unemployment in decades

Here are some news clips on the sharp fall in measured unemployment and a record rise in employment in the UK economy at the end of 2013. Students can find revision notes on unemployment using this link

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6 Charts on UK Unemployment and the Labour Market

It was no surprise when the latest release of unemployment and employment data for the UK labour market up to the end of 2013 made headline news across the media. There was a dramatic decline in the labour force survey measure of unemployment and news of a record level of employment. 

Many teachers will be covering unemployment as part of their AS macro course - I have put together six updated charts into a PowerPoint file for those who want to integrate the data charts into their teaching. Download using the link below:

PowerPoint file on Unemployment

Unemployment_in_the_UK_Economy.pptx  

The ‘output gap’: another piece of economic mumbo-jumbo

The concept of the 'output gap’ is central to mainstream macroeconomics. It is not merely of academic interest. 

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has a specific requirement to estimate the output gap, which it defines formally as “the difference between the current level of activity in the economy and the potential level it could sustain while keeping inflation stable”. 

The output gap is a key consideration for central banks around the world including the Bank of England. If output is well below its potential, nominal interest rates should be kept low, to try to stimulate the economy. And a large output gap should keep cost and price inflation low. Prices are hard to put up in a depressed economy. 

See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23145755 for a discussion of the changes made to the policy of forward guidance.

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David Rowan on disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators

Monday, January 20, 2014

We have been discussing the economics of innovation in class in the last few days. I came across this short talk given by David Rowan, editor of Wired magazine. What sets disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators apart from the rest? In his INK talk, David Rowan, editor of Wired UK, asserts it’s a “healthy disregard for the impossible” and offers nine tips for cultivating that mindset.

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The recovery is well grounded – except in France

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The coming year looks like it will be a good one. At the start of each of the past five years, the economic scales have been tilted down, and the challenge has been to look for factors which might have tipped them back up. This year, the balance is reversed. The onus lies with the pessimists to prove their case. Not that there are any shortages on this score. For example, King Canute of Twickenham, aka Vince Cable, has solemnly commanded that house prices must stop rising, for fear of a new bubble.

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Unit 2 Macro: Europe’s Biggest Infrastructure Project

Monday, January 06, 2014

An important landmark has been reached in the construction of Crossrail, London's £14.8bn rail programme. The tunnelling of 21km of twin-bore tunnels dug beneath the capital is well underway and the project is now at the half way stage assuming things run to plan. The first tunnel was completed in November 2013

The scale of the project is epic - one of a number of infrastructure projects that are underway or in the planning stage in the UK. the importance of infrastructure investment is often debated by economists. They can affect both aggregate demand and aggregate supply and have wider effects on a nation's competitiveness. 

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Unit 4 Macro: Centre of Gravity in Car Manufacturing Moves East

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Volume car production has been surging in recent years in many Eastern European countries - this FT news video provides some of the background and offers some revealing insights into the complex sources of competitive advantage in a key industrial sector.

The vehicles that roll off the production line at the Czech company's state-of-the-art car plant near Prague now outstrip many western rivals not only on cost but on reliability and finish too.

read more...»

A new exhibition on the changing UK industrial landscape

Peter Marsh, formerly the manufacturing editor of the Financial Times, has let me know of the imminent launch of an unusual and interesting photographic project linked to the world of manufacturing. It's an exhibition of pictures of UK manufacturing operations taken by some of the world's top photographers and which will tour Britain from the end of January to September next year.

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