Friday, May 24, 2013
Global Warming is happening - but is it having a negative economic consequence?
Dr Lomborg's website has some very interesting views about the need to tackle climate change
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The BBCs economy tracker has been updated with the latest unemployment figures. This is a great resource to use in the classroom. Click
here to go to it.
Particularly great for revision, students will be able to see what has happened to unemployment over time and also read about unemployment.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Here is a great sort video for revision from Business Basic that explains about interest rates.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
This is a great piece of data to help you look at cost of living and the North/South divide.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The constituent parts of the basket that makes up the measure for CPI & RPI inflation is being updated to reflect changes in trends.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
The world of work has fundamentally; more part time and flexible working hours. However this is not a change which is making many of us happy, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
A report, published today, examines working life in 1952 – and what it is like for workers in this country 60 years later. read more...»
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Just watching the news and I heard a great statistic that you could use with your students this week. For every job vacancy in the UK there are 5.8 unemployed people. Five years ago this figure was 2.8.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Figures released today show that inflation has fallen to 4.2% in December. Many retailers, in particular the supermarkets launched heavy tactics to ensure sales in the run up to Christmas.
A supermarket price war broke out after Tesco announced a £500 million price-cutting campaign, Asda guaranteed to be 10% cheaper than its rivals and Sainsbury’s launched its own brand price matching scheme. read more...»
Sunday, January 08, 2012
A great article here for students to get to grips with what real terms is. Comparing the grocery shop today with what it would have cost in1862 shows that A Victorian shopper would have needed £1,254.17 in real terms to fill their weekly basket with a selected range of food, drink and house-hold items, compared with £93.95 today.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
With the news yesterday that unemployment has once again risen there is a huge number of useful articles to use with our students.
First of all here is a great short video. read more...»
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
This is a great tax calculator from the BBC. You could make up some fictitious households for your students to compare. A great tool to look at tax and benefits in the UK. There is also a short video to introduce the topic.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I showed my class this really good short video on inflation this morning. It is great as a recap or a starter on inflation. Lots of the key points students need to know are in there.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
The Treasury is scrapping an exemption on VAT for goods valued at less than £15 dispatched from the Channel Islands
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The updated inflation interactive guide is
here. Following the announcement earlier today that inflation has jumped to 5.2%. The interactive guide is a great way for students to get an idea of what has been going on with inflation since 2006.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Liverpool, Nottingham and Glasgow have found themselves, for the second year running, with the highest level of households where no-one is in work. Liverpool and Glasgow the figures actually fell in the past year from 32.1% and 31.1% to 31.9% and 30.7%. However in Nottingham it increased from 31.3% to 31.6%.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
As we all start to think about the start of term here is a good graphic that could be used for a starter lesson for getting the students to start thinking about macroeconomics.
Friday, July 22, 2011
This unemployment map would make a greater starter for a discussion on consequences of unemployment. It shows a real North-South divide opening up.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Food prices have hit a two year high putting a big strain on family incomes. I have certainly noticed in the past 6 months my weekly food bill is rising almost week by week, even though I am buying the same things!
With the price of petrol, insurance and energy also rising alongside wage freezes in some sectors, families are facing a very tough balancing act. read more...»
Monday, June 06, 2011
We have all seen the constantly increasing price of petrol in recent times. So you will not be surprised to hear that the increasing cost of petrol is one of the main factors causing the cost of running a car to jump by 20%. In addition insurance premiums have risen significantly.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Figures released today show that the CPI has risen to 4.5% in April. This is a larger than expected rise.
Click here for a great short video.
And for those students working on their revision ahead of their exams the BBC have produced a great short article “Inflation explained” read more...»
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Here is a great
set of data on the Eurozone crisis from the BBC. Graphs showing the budget deficits, GDP, unemployment and debt in the Eurozone countries and the UK. This is great for setting practice data questions and revision of some key topics.
Friday, March 25, 2011
interactive guide from the Guardian, this time it looks at how the 2011 budget will affect different people. The guide is packed full of key terms so would be excellent as a revision exercise.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The Guardian have once again come up trumps with a great
interactive guide to how much tax will be raised from the new budget. It would make a great lesson activity, giving the students the grid and the list of taxes and asking them to decide which brings in the most and least money.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Here is a great graphic on the income and expenditure of the government. It would make a great revision exercise for taxation and spending.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Office for National Statistics has announced the changes to the basket of goods used to calculate inflation. Smartphones and ‘apps’ along with dating agency fees have gone into the basket. On the outgoing list is shoulder of pork, women’s fleece jackets and hardboard.
The ONS collects about 180,000 prices every month for a basket of about 650 goods and services - the most comprehensive survey of its kind in the UK. read more...»
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Here is a great
video on interest rates and why a rise might not be a great idea. It contains lots of great concepts for students to discuss.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Once again we have seen a rise in the inflation rate. January saw inflation measured by the CPI rise from 3.7% to 4%. The data below would be great for a data description question:
Friday, February 04, 2011
Obesity seems to becoming a bigger concern for the government as the number of overweight people in the UK rises and causes knock effects on health and work. The government are now considering placing a ‘fat tax’ on takeaways. Burger bars, kebab houses and fish and chip shops would be forced to pay the £1,000 before being allowed to open their doors to the public. This would also hit High Street fast food giants like McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Dominos.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, has referenced the Ken Dodd 1964 song “Happiness” in his recent speech about the global economy. King said: “When it comes to measuring success, don’t count money count happiness. The advice of Ken Dodd in 1964.”
So what is more important to your students? VIDEO
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Figures released today showing that the UK economy contracted by 0.5% in the last quarter of 2010 where said to have shocked many economic analysts.
The following data would make an excellent question describing data
To read more on the shrinking economy click on the following links:
Monday, January 24, 2011
Here is a great set of
notes from the BBC Newsbeat for teaching GCSE students about VAT and the recent increase in it.
This is a great short video from Declan Curry on petrol prices and where the money goes. It would make a great starter for indirect taxes.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
As unemployment rises once again new figures reveal that 20.3% of 16 to 24 year olds are out of work. The unemployment rate now stands at 7.9%
This is a great short video
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Burton’s biscuits, the makers of Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels have announced they are to close their factory on the Wirral. This will cause a loss of 342 jobs. They are also making 70 people redundant at their Newport factory.
This article would make excellent reading and could be used to ask pupils some exam style questions:
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
There are some great articles and short video’s out there at the moment about the VAT rise from 17.5% to 20% today. These would make excellent resources for teaching and revising the topic of indirect taxes.
BBC short video
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The November inflation figure has been announced and has risen to 3.3%. This short video explains how the rise in inflation is going to affect your Christmas dinner.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
At this time of year it is great to have one or two video’s up our sleeves. This short video from the BBC is jam packed with economic concepts. John Micklethwait, editor in chief at the Economist, is talking about the UK economy. Perhaps you could get your students to write down all the economic concepts they hear in the video. It could also spark some interesting discussions. Also you could play concept bingo with this, by preparing grids with concepts and when a student hears a concept in the video which they have on their grid they can cross it off.
Monday, December 06, 2010
The BBC have conducted some very interesting research on how the recent recession has changed the high street. From the percentage of vacant shops to the change in type of shop filling the high street, the data shows that the recession really has had a large impact. Click
here to see the data. read more...»
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Statistics released this week show that family household spending has fallen for the first time in 10 years. This a clearly an impact of the recession. According to the survey the average household spent £455 a week last year, down from £471 a week in 2008.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
VAT, an indirect tax, is added to most goods, the standard rate of 17.5% is due to rise to 20% from the 4th January 2011. The reduced rate of 5% is for gas and electricity and children’s car seats. There is also a zero rate for most food items, children’s clothes and books, newspapers and magazines.
Innocent smoothies have been fighting a legal battle claiming that their 100% fruit smoothies should not be subjected to the standard rate but in fact should have the zero rate.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The Office for National Statistics has just announced that the CPI has risen to 3.2% from 3.1% the previous month.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
We have always been told go to university and you have a much better chance of getting a job. Well it would seem that at present this is not true as unemployment among graduates reaches the highest levels since the early 90’s. 8.9% of last years graduates were still unemployed 6 months after graduating.
Here is a great short video which could get a discussion going on the problems of high unemployment amongst graduates.
and one here from BBC news
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
data blog from the Guardian today. As part of World Statistics day the Office for National statistics have put together a spreadsheet on interesting UK data. This would be great for discussing standard of living.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
This is a great task for students ahead of tomorrows announcement of spending cuts.A great
resource from the Guardian which will hopefully spark some debate with your students.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
As the inflation figure announced today showed no change at 3.1% this video is great for explaining the reasons behind the higher than desired rate.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
A great video here on UK economic growth, it would make a great starter. There are lots of good ideas and economic concepts contained within.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The UK did!
According to research conducted by Mintel the sale of pies and pasties increased by £1bn. Mintel’s Vivianne Ihekweazu said: “Consumers returned to the familiar as the economic downturn put a dent in their disposable income, forcing them to reconsider their spending priorities. read more...»
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The BBC have produced a great short
video on inflation. It would make a greater starter for year 11.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Today the August figure for inflation was released. Standing at 3.1% the figure stayed the same from July, however it is still above the government target of 2%. This
article is a great read to explain what is going up and what is going down.
The data below would be a great homework or class task, getting students to describe the changes in the CPI between 2008 and 2010….
Thursday, September 09, 2010
The BBC have done some great research on the north - south divide. The have put all their data together to produce an interactive resource ranking areas of the country on areas like insolvency, business start-ups and skilled workers. Click
here for the guide.
Unsurprisingly the Bank of England today chose to keep interest rates at 0.5%. Even though inflation measured by the CPI is 3.1% and therefore well above the target of 2%.
Declan Curry has done a great short video explaining why interest rates matter.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
video. This one is discussing the rising price of food.
A great task to start at the beginning of the school year is to give the pupils a list of food items they can buy in the supermarket asking them to record the price each month. Perhaps ask different groups of pupils to go to different supermarkets and local shops. This would make an interesting task and feeds nicely into the topic of inflation.
Monday, August 30, 2010
A good way to get new year 10 Economists thinking about Economics is with a short video, this
one would be great. It gives students lots of economic terms to think about.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The Guardian have produced another great interactive guide, this time showing how economies across the world are recovering. Click
here for the guide. This would be a great start to the international module for OCR.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
As the end of term approaches it is nice to have some short video’s to keep the pupils going. This BBC
video about the growth of the economy is great with some really good statistics. It could be the beginning of a mini project using data on the economy.
Friday, May 28, 2010
This chart is great to use with groups as you revise inflation.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
As we see inflation above the Bank of England target of 2% again concerns turn to those who will be most affected by it. This
article is great for revision to help students understand who loses out due to inflation.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Hotel Chocolate have decided to offer bonds to its most loyal customers. Instead of saving in the bank and getting very little in the way of interest some customers will be offered the opportunity to invest £2,000 upwards in a three year bond. In return investors will receive a free box of chocolates worth £18 every two months.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
With the World Cup in South Africa starting on 11th June it is a great opportunity to link in with world economic data.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
With the news today that the CPI has risen to a 17 month high of 3.7% it presents a great opportunity to revise inflation.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
With an imminent emergency budget there has been a lot of information in the news about taxation and spending. This
BBC article is particularly good for a revision lesson on taxation.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Working Lunch’s Declan Curry
explains just what GDP stands for, and why we should care.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
This video makes a great revision tool, there are lots of key economic concepts talked about. Students could be asked to watch the video and jot down as many concepts that are in the video as they can and then they could make a glossary with the definitions.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Perhaps this one is more for the teachers reading, do you remember the Wurzels? They had hit singles in 1976 with “I am a cider drinker” and “Combine Harvester”. They are leading the revolt over
Alistair Darling’s plans in his budget to place a 10% increase in the tax on strong cider. read more...»
The Guardian have produced another great
interactive guide to the governments finances. It would make a great discussion starter.
Also the BBC have a great set of data on the UK economy at present.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Inflation measured by the CPI is currently at 3.5%, outside of the Bank of England’s target window. It is also much higher than many of our European Union counterparts. Have you noticed the prices in the supermarkets rising?
Monday, March 01, 2010
Sky news have put up this great short video of Darling discussing the recent increase in economic growth. The 47 second clip is packed full economic concepts any of which could spark a discussion.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Here is some great
interactive data from the FT. The data looks at the CPI, unemployment, trade balance, consumer confidence and manufacturing survey from February 2008 and now. You will have to register if you haven’t already, but it is free to do so.
Friday, February 19, 2010
This weeks fun fact Friday looks at the items in our shopping basket that are up and down in the recession.
Monday, February 08, 2010
video explains how increases in VAT and food prices are affecting people, in particular those on low incomes. It would make a great starter on VAT (why are some goods exempt?) and also on inflation.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
This is a great 3 minute
video on the UK’s national debt. It would make a great starter for talking about fiscal policy.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The BBC reports that the rich-poor divide is wider than 40 years ago (
They have also produced this great quiz on the UK pay gap. It would make a greater starter activity or lead in to a discussion on the gap between the rich and the poor in the UK.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
As unemployment dropped this month to 2.46m people concerns remain about the large number of young people who are out of work. Total unemployment stood at 2.46 million for the three months to November, down 7,000 on the figure for the previous three months.This is a great
video on youth unemployment. read more...»
Friday, January 08, 2010
As we all know the VAT rate went back up to 17.5% having been at just 15% since December 2008. When I was out shopping earlier in the week I saw a notice in White Stuff saying that they were not going to increase their prices with the VAT rise. This led me to thinking how many other shops are doing the same?
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Many of us are affected by the snow that has blanketed the UK this week. How has it affected the UK economy? Many businesses are working on a skeleton staff as employees. Some though are finding that they are benefiting from the bad weather. Debenhams has seen a spike in sales of thermal underwear, faux-fur coats and, surprisingly, swimsuits.
As the Monetary Policy Committee are due to announce their decision on interest rates the BBC have put this great short
video on their website. It explains the effects that the low interest rates are having on imports and exports in the UK. Interest rates are expected to stay low for the rest of this year, great for borrowers but a real problem for savers.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Well there is so much about the Pre Budget Report I thought I would add to it with this great
Q&A from the Times. It makes some of the changes much easier to understand for GCSE students. There is also a great little video at the top of the page which would act as a great starter.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The BBC have produced a fantastic
visual interactive map of budget deficits across the world between 2007 and 2010. It would make a great starter activity or a main part to a lesson on government budgets.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
We have all heard lots about the numerous businesses that have lost out to the recession. We have not heard so much about the businesses that have done well out of falling incomes and increased unemployment.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
As the amount the government have pumped into the banking system in the UK continues to rise, the Guardian looks at what else this huge sum of money could be spent on.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
No doubt we have all heard the various letters and shapes that have been suggested for the shape of this recession. This
article in the Guardian would make a great start to the half term possibly prompting an interesting discussion.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Guardian has once again produced a
great guide to the countries that are still in recession and those that are beating it.
Friday, October 23, 2009
As it was announced today that the UK remains in recession with the economy unexpectedly contracting 0.4% between July and September, there are some great resources around for teaching economic growth and GDP. The graph below from the BBC shows this recession and the last.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Following the announcement that unemployment is still rising but at a slower rate, the Guardian have produced a great interactive
graph with data on both the claimant count and the LFS dating back to 1971.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Yesterdays announcement that inflation as measured by the CPI had fallen to 1.1% in September and the RPI had dropped to -1.4% further fueled concerns that the UK may not come out of the recession by the end of the year.
Monday, October 12, 2009
The new OCR GCSE specification expects pupils to have an understanding of policies the government could use to help reduce externalities. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson has outlined a plan to make drivers pay for using the busiest roads in the capital.
I am currently teaching economic growth to my year 11’s and have got used to saying an increase in GDP improves the standard of living in a country. At GCSE this statement is usually enough but this
article could get your pupils extra marks for evaluating whether this is actually true.
A study has show Britain to have the worst quality of life in Europe despite having an average household income of £35,730 a year, over £10,000 higher than the European average. This is because British families have to contend with a high cost of living, with fuel, food and alcohol all costing more than the European average. Not only that but we are also working longer hours, having less holiday and dealing with worse weather. Click read more for some GCSE and A level style questions on economic growth and living standards.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
An Italian supermarket has come up with an interesting way to help its unemployed customers. Along with buying your groceries you can enter a lottery, where the prize is a job. This
video would make a great starter.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Next Saturday I am taking some of my students to see Robert Skidelsky talk about John Maynard Keynes at the Cheltenham Literature festival. No doubt it will be a fascinating talk.
This video shows Peter Clarke and Robert Skidelsky talking about how they believe Keynes economic philosophy is continuing to influence today’s political scene. It could make an interesting starter looking at how Keynes theories is affecting todays politics.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The savings ratio is expected to rise again when figures are released this week. The graph shows the
savings ratio fell as borrowing soared, however as the credit crunch began to bite the ratio rose as we started to save more when consumer confidence fell.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Is this what the job market has come to?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Talk of cutting government spending seems to be almost a daily occurrence in the national newspapers at the moment. This
BBC article makes a good read for students to help them find out more on what might be proposed and why it needs to happen.
This really links well with Innes’ mnemonic today. Innes looked at why GDP is not the best measure of standard of living. So does rising national wealth really make peoples lives better?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Consumer Price Index for August was announced yesterday as 1.6%, the lowest it has been since January 2005.
The RPI gave slightly cheerier news as it rose from -1.4% to -1.3. The Guardian has updated its interactive data on inflation. read more...»
The government have a lot to think about if they are to prevent what some economists are calling a possible double dip recession. However they must consider the future and the large debts that have already been accumulated. The Labour party see the way forward as maintaining spending and increasing taxes, one idea being the new 50% tax on earnings over £150,000. The Conservatives on the other hand think that the only way ahead is to cut government spending.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
16-18 years olds not in education, employment or training, otherwise known as
NEETs are continuing to rise in numbers. In Gloucestershire there are now 599 NEETs a rise of 14% on last year. The West Midlands has the largest number of NEETs in the UK. read more...»
Friday, September 11, 2009
interactive guide, this time from the BBC. Since the markets began to tumble in 2008, governments around the world have spent almost $11 trillion bailing out failing banks and trying to repair the financial system. This interactive guide shows where the money went and what it means for the tax payer.
Few of us could have missed the fact that this week the England football team qualified for next years World Cup in South Africa with a 5-1 win against Croatia. What you may not realise is that this will benefit the UK economy greatly. According to the British Retail Consortium England’s qualification will benefit the UK economy to the tune of £1bn.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
New car registrations were up 2.4% in July this year, showing the scrappage scheme is finally starting show its effects on the car industry. This is the first increase since April 2008.
Monday, August 31, 2009
If, like me, you found yourself watching far too much daytime TV over the holidays, you may have noticed advert after advert imploring you to send your unwanted gold (even teeth!) to a company in return for cash. Interest in companies like this has soared during the recession as people struggle to cope.
H. Samuel has just entered the market, hoping their recognised brand name will entice customers. Can any of your pupils think of other industries which will do well during a recession?
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Spain is an interesting economy for GCSE students to look at. In Spain tourism accounts for 10% of
gross national product and one in eight jobs. Construction is also a very important industry. And both sectors are now struggling with the pain of recession.
Many hotels have temporarily closed even during the summer season and the bars, restaurants, hire cars and airports are being affected by the downturn in demand. Economists have a term for this - a negative multiplier effect.
BBC news video looks at the Canary Islands where one person in four is unemployed (an unemployment rate of 25% is nearly four times the jobless rate we have here in the UK).
Thursday, July 09, 2009
How many of us put money into our piggy banks or a bank account, saving for a raining day? Well data released this week suggests that more people are doing this and that the
savings ratio is set to rise.
Friday, July 03, 2009
Trawling through the BBC website on Thursday evening I came across an absolute gem. How often do we want interesting data to use with our classes? Well I think I have found an answer! The new online tool OECD Factbook eXplorer.
Monday, June 29, 2009
One of the most important skills at GCSE Economics is to be able to identify factors which shift the demand and supply curves, especially in the OCR paper where an almost identical 12 mark question appears every year without fail. Here is a check-list of factors which will shift the demand curve ( and yes… you’ve guessed it - next week there will be a mnemonic on factors leading to a shift in the supply curve)
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
The 2009 OCR case study is likely to have a number of questions on competition. I noticed Microsoft’s new fully hands free control system in the news and thought it was a fantastic example of using innovation to compete. Press read more for two BBC videos of the new system and GCSE style questions on competition for revision.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
How many more will lose their jobs in this recession? Retiring Monetary Policy Committee member David Blanchflower predicts at least one million more people will lose their jobs before unemployment peaks.