Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Cost of Christmas Dinner

With the weather so wet in the UK vegetable yields have been crippled and also the cost of imported food is on the rise. This effect is starting to be seen on the British supermarket shelves with many of the Christmas staples shooting up in price. The latest official inflation figures reveal food prices are rising at 3.9%, faster than overall goods and services. 


McDonald's waitress wins £3,000 out-of-court settlement after she was sacked for sprinkling 'over-generous' serving of chocolate on a colleague's McFlurry. Check out the article to see how ACAS helped resolve this issue. Great for A292 Business & People. 

Monday, 17 December 2012

A New Target For The Bank of England?

The Bank of England has had a formal inflation target since the early 1990s. Is it the time for it to target something else? Very interesting article by BBC Economics editor Stephanie Flanders. Follow the link to read more.

Pay With Plastic

The Bank of England has made contingency plans for a changeover to plastic bank notes. The printing proviso is to "future proof" the bank's supply of money. A number of countries already use the polymer money which can be more durable than traditional cotton based notes.

Apple sells 2m iPhone 5s in China

Apple has confounded Wall Street's expectations by announcing it sold more than 2m iPhone 5s in China, a record for the company, after a launch on Friday that obersvers had thought low-key. China is the world's largest smartphone market, and growing fast, dominated by cheap devices built on Google's Android software. 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The PED of Uni

There has been a record fall in the number of people taking up places at UK universities this year, figures show. In England, where maximum fees have almost trebled to £9,000 a year, saw the sharpest drop in people taking places in 2012, with a 6.6% fall. Can you work out the PED for this situation?

Lagos Monopoly

The first African city edition of the famous board game Monopoly has been launched in Lagos.
The Nigerian metropolis is one of the fast-growing cities in the world.

HTC Champions League

HTC has struck a three-year deal with UEFA to become the official mobile phone supplier of the Champions League and the Europa League as the manufacturer looks to expand awareness of its brand around the world and tap into its customers’ passions.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

No Miracle Economic Cure

Britain is facing a longer than expected battle to reduce its debts. Chancellor George Osborne is set to announce his autumn statement later today but there seems to be no miracle cure for Britain's economic woes. 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Cigarettes & Alcohol

Both these products have been making headlines over the past week as governments try further methods to correct the market failure which arrises from these two de-merit goods. The UK government is set to bring in a minimum price 45p per unit for the sale of alcohol to try and tackle problem drinking whilst Australia stepped up its regulation of cigarette packings by becoming the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging. Will these methods be enough to correct the failure?

Hppy Bday Txting :-)

Neil Papworth, a software programmer from Reading, sent the first ever text message on December 3rd 1992 which simply read 'Merry Christmas'. Now more than 8 million texts are sent a year and around 15 million leave our mobile screens every minute. If you were the first person to send a text what would it read?

Wii U Be Buying One?

Six years after the Wii console took living rooms by storm, Nintendo is trying to capture the same success with its new Wii U. It will be make or break for Nintendo amid a market swing towards gaming on smartphones and tablets. Will it be a success?

Friday, 30 November 2012

60 Day Bread

An American company has developed a technique that they say can make bread stay mould-free for 60 days. Food waste is a massive problem in most developed countries. According to research 32% of loaves purchased in the UK is thrown out as waste when they could be eaten.

No More 'Yo-Yo' Prices

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been investigating the way prices are displayed, advertised and promoted in stores. It raised concerns about prices being artificially inflated to make later discounts look more attractive.The major UK supermarkets have now agreed to adopt a set of principles drawn up by the OFT. Classic regulation of an Oligopoly's non-price competition? 

Confused Skittles

Mars is to relaunch its Skittles confectionary brand in the UK next year with a range redesign and a new variant as part of a multi-million marketing strategy to give the brand more prominence in the category. Do you think this will be a success?

Monday, 26 November 2012

Surprise Choice For Bank Governor

Regarded as the Sir Alex Ferguson of the Banking world and currently the head of Canada's central bank Mark Carney will be taking over from Sir Mervyn King as the Bank of England Chief, when he retires in June next year. Find out more about the surprise choice in the link below.

The Power of John Lewis Adverts

The Power of Love cover by Gabrielle Aplin which acompanies the brilliant  John Lewis advert has eneterd the offical top 40 this week at number 7. This just shows the power of adverts and especially John Lewis who have had such successful acompanying music to its adverts it released an album called Reworked which features alll the songs used in its television ad campagins.

Austerity till 2018

The chancellor may have to extend the squeeze on public spending until 2018 if the recent deterioration in growth prospects and tax receipts turns out to be permanent, a think tank has said.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Tango In The Shower

Tango, (yes the fizzy drink), is to extend the brand into a range of shower gels that will be targeted at supermarkets. Tango's orange, apple, cherry and lemon flavours will be incorporated into 400ml shower gel packs, retailing at £1.49. Classic diversification grown tactic here to help spread risk but will it be a success? You know when you've been tango'd!

Pay Rise But Cut In Value

The average annual earnings of full-time workers in the UK rose by 1.4% to £26,500 in the year to April 2012. However there was a cut in the real value of pay as inflation was higher during the same period, at 3.5%.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Killer Fungus Attacks UK Christmas Trees

A fungus has started attacking one of Britain's most popular species of Christmas tree. Nordmann Firs lose all their needles if they are affected, and growers are now concerned about satisfying demand if stock levels drop too dramatically. Could you draw a supply and demand for this AS Economists?

Friday, 16 November 2012

YouTube Economics

If there is any topic in AS Economics that you need to re-cap on there is an excellent source of revision videos on YouTube. Follow the links below to find the videos:

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Four More Years

This was a picture that was worth 1,000 words but was one that has now made social media history. It was the photograph that President Obama posted on Twitter and Facebook pages just as TV networks announced his victory. It quickly became the most tweeted and most liked message on Facebook ever, beating the record previously set by Justin Bieber. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

AS Blog Winner: From Dawn to Tusk

Fantastic article by Amy Brown about the economic problems and solutions behind the trade of African Ivory.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

No Interest In QE

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee today made the decision to continue to keep interest rates at 0.5%. They also decided not to extend its quatitative easing (QE) stimulus programme, which has injected £375bn into the UK financial system.


The blog has now reached 3000 views since its creation in May 2012. We hope you continue to keep checking in on the blog to help further your studies and interest in the subject. Thanks!

Finance Fortune Teller

Year 11 students Ross & Anjum took the finance fortune teller to another level with their giant version. Great for testing class mates on their knowledge of all things finance whilst being fun to create also. Great work!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

US Elections 2012

Tens of millions of Americans are voting to decide whether to re-elect Democratic President Barack Obama or hand the job to Republican Mitt Romeny. Who would you vote for?

Follow the action here

Monday, 5 November 2012

Ryanair Profits Sky High

Low-frills airline Ryanair has reported a rise in profits thanks to an increase in both passenger numbers and fares. How inelastic is a Ryanair flight? Also good information for Work & Leisure!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Trade Nations

Some nice economic concepts on show in this new app which is now available for free from the iTunes store. Become Mayor of your very own Nation, as you grown a small village into a sprawling and efficient city in Trade Nations!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Tweet Tweet!

The Economics department is now on twitter to keep you topped up with all the economics information you need to succeed in your exams. So give us a follow @EconBay

Also look out for a business twitter coming soon...

Half Price Halloween

Majority of Halloween goods are now half price in supermarkets. Great example of excess supply, especially is your still looking for your economic story for the first monday back!

Top Tips For Economics

Some very nice tips for success for all you Economists!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Your Fired!

Hope everyone is enjoying a nice half term! While your taking a small break from the books why not tune in to the new series of Young Apprentice on November 1st at 8pm. The 12 candidates all aged between 16 and 17 will be battling out to win over Lord Sugar and the prize of £25,000 to get their business started.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

To Fly. To Serve

You may have seen these British Airways adverts on social media sites such as Facebook recently. Very interesting look at non-price competition for an oligopolistic market. Check out the advert by following the link below and see for yourself.

Mini iPad Not So Mini Price

After many rumours Apple yesterday announced the release of the iPad mini. However what is not so mini about this latest apple product is the price. The basic UK price will be £269 which is more than £100 more than rival tablets such as Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD. Apple defended the price tag by saying 'customers will pay for quality'. Do you agree?

Just Sponsor It

Reports are that Manchester United are lining up an extension of their kit deal with Nike which could be worth up to £1bn. This news comes in the same week as Nike offered golfer Rory McIlroy £156m over 10 years to have the swoosh on all his golf equipment and clothing. There seems to be no recession in sponsorship at the moment. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Dear UCAS...

Struggling writing your personal statement? The Guardian has put together some top tips and advice on writing that personal statement that will catapult you on to your chosen course. Check out the link below.

January Exams 2013

Full details of dates and additional information for exams can now be found in the key dates section of the blog which is just over there on the left. Make sure to double check your own exam timetable for any clashes you may have and then start to think about planning ahead for your revision . Only around 76 days to go!

Enterprise @ St James' Park

A fantastic day out for Year 12 Business Studies students at St James' Park last Friday. All students really got involved in the enterprise based morning and created some excellent ideas. A quick reminder that team pitches will be on Thursday this week so there is still chance to put the finishing touches to your ideas!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Lottery Hits, 3000 Millionaires

The National Lottery has created 3,000 millionaires since it began in 1994 and most of them have kept the majority of their winnings in the UK, a new study says. They have bought 7,958 homes, 17,190 new cars and 300 caravans according to research. What would you spend the winnings on? 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Pandora to Sponsor Girls Aloud Tour

Pandora, the jewellery brand, has been named the official sponsor of the forthcoming Girls Aloud tour. As part of the brand partnership, each band member has designed their own Pandora charm bracelet, intended to reflect their personality, but you may need deep pockets to afford one. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Price of Football

An absolutely fantastic article written by BBC Sport based on a survey of 166 football clubs in 10 divisions across British Football. The average cost of the cheapest ticket has risen by more than five times the rate of inflation but there have been little signs in falling attendances. Brilliant for AS students looking at elasticity & consumer surplus but also useful for A2 Work & Leisure.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

UK Inflation Lowest In Almost 3 Years

UK inflation has fallen to 2.2%, easing the pressure on cash-strapped consumers. Policymakers are hoping that the fall in inflation will encourage people to start spending again to help prop up the economy.

How Much Tax?!?

Fantastic infographic on how much the biggest US companies in the UK pay in tax.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Advertisement Blizzard

Microsoft, Apple and Samsung are set to launch a Christmas advertising blitz. Analysts say digital giants' advertising spend will be on a scale not seen 'outside presidential elections'. Is this a classic example of non-price competition from an Oligopoly syle structure?

Cost Price Kindles

Jeff Bezos admits Amazon only at best breaks-even on the latest Kindle hardware where as Apple make around 40% profit margin on their tablet devices. Very interesting strategy of making their money from when people use the devices not when they purchase them which has helped Amazon undercut their rivals. Will this lead to a price war?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Faisal Islam on Economics

A very interesting selection of articles worth checking out by Channel 4's economics editor. Just follow the link & take a read. You can also follow Faisal on twitter @faisalislam

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Crispello - It's Not For Guys

Cadburys are set to launch their first new chocolate bar since the 1990's & they have been doing their market research on this one. The Crispello is aimed squarely at a female demographic, and specifically at weight-conscious women.  A brilliant example of segmentation but have they found a gap in the market?