Charts of the Week


12th February 2017

Residential property prices (real) since the new millennium have followed different paths in different countries. Ireland has seen a rollercoaster ride and the US less so, though both have seen prices start to recover in recent years. Prices in the UK stuttered around the global financial crisis (GFC) before regaining their momentum. In Italy and Russia property prices continued to fall after the GFC, quite steeply for the latter. Meanwhile, in Germany prices run counter current, slowly descending into the GFC before recovering strongly thereafter. As property asset values affect economic sentiment, the chart reveals likely differences between the selected countries. Source: OECD Analytical house price indicators, February 12


The OECD PIAAC programme conducts a Survey of Adult Skills in a number of countries. Literacy and numeracy skills tend to have a small peak between the ages of 25-34, before markedly declining for older age groups. For the UK population this decline with age is tiny. However, for literacy and numeracy skills, the UK 16-24 year age group has now been overtaken by those of the same age in many other comparable economies. Source: Skills Matter, OECD Publishing, June 2016.


This chart shows how average earnings have changed in France, the United Kingdom, Germany and United States, with all currencies converted into $ using a purchasing power parity (PPP) adjustment that accounts for differences in the cost of household goods in the four countries. Between 2000 and 2015, annual earnings in the UK peaked at about 2007, whereas earnings in the other three counties have seen a slow but steady rise. Source: OECD


Disposable income is the final income left after taxes have been taken and benefits have been reimbursed, and the chart shows the five quintiles of disposable income from the lowest income fifth to the highest. Here we see that over the nine years to 2016 the lowest income households have seen their real disposable income rise by 13.2 per cent while the highest paid households have yet to reach the disposable income they had in 2007. The 60 per cent of households between these extremes show an intermediate effect. Office of National Statistics, January 22