Daily chart: where are the world’s busiest airline routes? Jeju, on the South Korean island of the same name, is not one of the country’s 20 biggest cities. Yet its allure as a tourist destination resulted in 9.9m passengers flying between Seoul and Jeju in 2011.
Weekly Politics: May 7-11, 2012 — “François Hollande, the Socialist candidate, won France’s presidential election, beating Nicolas Sarkozy, the centre-right incumbent, by 51.6% to 48.4%. He will be inaugurated on May 15th; a day later he will travel to Berlin to meet with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. Top of the agenda will be the German-backed “fiscal compact”, which the Frenchman has threatened to scupper if it is not accompanied by growth-promoting measures”
Weekly Business: May 7-11, 2012 — “The inconclusive outcome of elections in Greece on May 6th led to sell-offs in stockmarkets across the globe, amid doubts about Greece’s ability to meet the terms of its international bail-out and to stay in the euro zone. The main Athens index fell by 10% over two days, to a 20-year low. The Euro Stoxx index of 50 leading euro-area equities has fallen by 15% since mid-March”
Weekly Business: April 30-May 4, 2012 — “America’s economy grew at an annualised rate of 2.2% in the first quarter, which disappointed the markets. The mediocre figure was explained in part by a 5.6% decrease in government spending and investment. A study out this week from Fitch Ratings and Oxford Economics suggests that stimulus spending in America in response to the fiscal crisis increased aggregate GDP by more than 4%, which, say the researchers, implies “that the US might still be mired in a recession” without the intervention”
Daily chart: the world’s most expensive art. When Edvard Munch painted “The Scream” he did not have enough money to buy canvas, so the painting that sold on May 2nd at Sotheby’s for $120m is on cardboard. Yet the sale is only a record in nominal terms: adjusted for inflation, several more expensive paintings have been sold.
Daily chart: who eats the most meat? Pigs are the world’s most consumed animal. Although populous middle-income countries such as China are driving the worldwide demand for meat, it is mainly Western countries who still eat most per person.
Weekly Politics: April 23-27, 2012 — “François Hollande, the Socialist candidate, topped the first round of France’s presidential election, with 29% of the vote. Nicolas Sarkozy, the incumbent, got 27%. The pair will contest a second round on May 6th, which Mr Hollande is the firm favourite to win. Mr Sarkozy set about courting the 18% of voters who backed the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, while Mr Hollande rattled Germany by saying that he wanted changes to the euro zone’s fiscal pact. Meanwhile, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, called for a ‘growth compact’”
Weekly Business: April 23-27, 2012 — “The main fund paying out Social Security benefits in America will run out in 2033, three years earlier than projected, according to the trustees’ annual report. The trustees also forecast that Medicare, which provides health care for the elderly, will go into the red in 2024. But that assumption is based on the cost savings from payments to doctors that will kick in under Obamacare; if that law is overturned Medicare could become insolvent much sooner”