News Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his special address at the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Japan’s trade deficit has hit an all-time high as imports were swollen by higher energy prices and a weak yen.

UK goods trade deficit unexpectedly widens

Britain's goods trade deficit with the rest of the world unexpectedly widened in January to its biggest since August 2008, raising further concerns about the strength of the country's broader economic recovery.

Wigan hint at new glories with easy win

Wigan 32 Hull KR 6

UK goods trade gap widens to £7.3bn

The UK's goods trade gap with the rest of the world widened to an 11-month high of £7.3 billion in December, official figures showed today.

Slow progress on trade deficit shows sluggish return to growth

Overall deficit fell by just £200m in November

Leading article: Prosecuting bribery is in Britain's national interest

The Serious Fraud Office is right to keep the pressure on BAE Systems

Construction sector boosts economic growth rate

The economy shrank by slightly less than thought in the second quarter of this year – by 0.6 per cent rather than the 0.7 per cent previously estimated, the Office for National Statistics has reported. However, the growth figure for the first quarter was revised down by 0.1 per cent to minus 2.6 per cent, and other adjustments mean that the British economy still contracted by 5.5 per cent over a year.

US Fed says it will keep on buying bonds until October

Central bank cautious even as it admits recession shows signs of levelling out

David Prosser: Total's ominous message

Outlook There was, no doubt, an element of brinkmanship in yesterday's statements from Total on its troubled project to extend the Lindsey oil refinery at Grimsby. The French company said the project was six months behind schedule, £100m over budget and plagued by low productivity. Still, we should worry about the hint of menace from a company that is, after all, investing in Britain.

Spotlight: A&L Premier Direct Current Account

Even though the Bank of England base rate remains at an all-time low, the current account market is very much alive and kicking with Alliance & Leicester (A&L) and Abbey having increased the rates on some of their current accounts.

The Sonnets: 122

By William Shakespeare

Japan falls to first deficit since 1980 as exports fail

Sagging exports have pushed Japan's trade balance into its first annual deficit in nearly 30 years. The numbers underscore the country's dependency on world trade, which has buckled under the pressure of the global economic slowdown.

Pascal Lamy: If we go down the road of protectionism, disaster awaits

Trade has become another casualty of the global economic crisis. The slump in demand and the difficulties to access trade finance have led to a significant contraction of the world trade. According the current estimates, world trade will contract by some 3 per cent in 2009, the first decline in trade growth since 1982. Just as trade tends to grow faster than output in good times, it typically contracts faster in times of recession.

Exports dive 6% as US markets dry up

A collapse in exports sent the UK's trade deficit in goods to a record £8.3 billion in November, official figures showed today.

Taxation: Foreign dividends exempted

The Government offered an olive branch to big business yesterday by pledging tax cuts on foreign subsidiaries but lawyers warned that it will not be enough to staunch the flow of companies relocating abroad.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

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As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project