News Maths is the only subject where girls still lag behind boys

Girls lack confidence in their ability in maths and science and are therefore put off from applying for jobs in engineering and computing, a new study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows today.

Susie Mesure: More sex, please, we're British...

Stiff upper lips are not enough - we're flocking to lessons in love

Hamish McRae: We have to plan for a bigger population

So by 2051 Britain's population is to grow to nearly 78 million and ethnic minorities will rise from 8 per cent at the 2001 census to 20 per cent. These are two key conclusions from some research by a team in the geography department at the University of Leeds – a thorough piece of work that should illuminate a debate that has up to now generated more heat than light.

Independence of OBR called into question

The credibility and independence of the interim Office for Budget Responsibility came under renewed attack as its leader, Sir Alan Budd, was forced to defend the release of sensitive employment figures just before a difficult session of Prime Minister's Questions.

Better education and later pension age will boost economy

Retraining the unemployed, improving education and training for UK workers and raising the pension age could all boost the economy's long-term growth rate, according to a study by the Centre for Policy Studies.

David Prosser: Gloomy tidings from the IMF

Outlook So it's good news and bad from the International Monetary Fund. Its latest projections for the global economy as a whole are a little bit more optimistic than the forecasts it made back in April. Sadly, it is not so upbeat about the UK: its estimates for economic growth in this country have been trimmed.

OECD warns of bleak job prospects for the young

Britain faces a jobless recovery in which young people's already bleak prospects will be exacerbated by cuts to employment schemes, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) warns.

Now even the Bank isn't sure it can bring down inflation

Dissent in the Monetary Policy Committee may mean rate rises and dearer mortgage bills are on the way

'Wait and see' as low interest rates are held

Interest rates were kept on hold today as policymakers maintained their "wait-and-see" approach ahead of Government plans to tackle the UK's deficit.

Faltering services sector raises fears of double dip

The pace of recovery in Britain's dominant services sector appears to be faltering, business leaders warn today, casting new doubt on the economy's ability to avoid a "double dip" downturn. Sales in the business services half of the sector remained flat in the three months to the end of May, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said, while sales of consumer services actually fell.

Business Diary: Bootle claims the OECD is nuts

Never let it be said that Roger Bootle's Capital Economics does not say what it thinks, even if it subsequently remembers to moderate its language. Issuing its latest thoughts on last week's global economic outlook from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the think-tank admits: "Our initial response to the OECD's recommendation that UK interest rates should rise to 3.5 per cent by the end of next year ('completely mad') may have been a bit extreme."

UK to raise interest rates before end of 2010, warns OECD

Britain will be forced to raise its interest rates much sooner than expected and certainly before the end of the year, the world's leading economic think-tank said yesterday.

Call for Bank of England to raise interest rates

The Bank of England should begin hiking interest rates in the second half of this year and lift borrowing costs to 3.5% by the end of 2011 to control rising inflation, an economic report warned today.

Business Diary: The IEA really proves its worth

Some truly stunning insights from the International Energy Agency yesterday. Fatih Birol, its chief economist, reckons that if we see further deterioration in the global economy the oil price could fall below $70 a barrel (about where it sits now). And if the economy recovers? "If we come back to a situation where the global economic recovery continues, oil prices will rise." It's bold predictions like this that makes the analysis provided by organisations like the IEA absolutely essential to the smooth functioning of the world economy.

Leading Article: Independent schools are wise to look overseas

The news that British independent schools are receiving a record influx of pupils from overseas is not surprising. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), fee-charging schools in the UK achieve the best results of any type of school in the world. If you examine the statistics, they account for nearly 40 per cent of students getting three A grades or better at A-level, yet only 7 per cent of pupils attend these schools. So, overseas parents are making a rational, if expensive, choice in deciding to send their offspring away to boarding school in a far-off land. And it really is the other side of the world in many cases. The largest international group within private schools comes from China and Hong Kong. The parents of such children must definitely think it is worth shelling out as much as £30,000 a year per child, plus the cost of air fares and a school uniform, to give their darlings a good start in life.

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