January 2010

Commodities on the Rise

With continuously rising population levels and wealthier — and larger — middle classes around the world, the price pressure on food commodities is intense. Changing climate conditions further complicate matching global supply with demand. We wonder: In percentage terms, which of the following commodities experienced the biggest price increase in 2009?

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Asia’s Fastest Riser

People tend to measure improvement in their personal economic circumstances by the rise of their nominal income level over time. And while there is plenty of talk about China's breathtaking economic rise, we wonder: Which Asian country's economic lot has improved the most since the mid-1960s when measured by percent increase in income per person?

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Whose Best Decade?

Financial crises can lead to sudden and steep falls in stock markets’ values, while periods of prolonged economic growth may make them rise to ever higher levels. Although an imperfect measurement, they are supposed to reflect a national economy's overall path. We wonder: Which country's stock market has had the best performance over the past decade?

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Global Pension Safety Compared

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, people in much of the industrialized world are more concerned than ever before about the safety of their retirement finances. We wonder: Which of the following countries is considered to have the best all-around pension system?

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Two Coal Giants

The United States and China are increasingly overpowering the global stage — from the size of their economies and populations all the way to pollution. As the world struggles to reduce CO2 emissions, we wonder: What share of global coal reserves do both countries account for jointly?

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