Budget, oil rig count and Nigerian GDP: Here's our world view

These are the biggest numbers in the world right now (Source: Getty)
Rising debt, capital outflows and falling commodity prices – we highlight the numbers that matter from around the globe

NORTH AMERICA

268 the number of rigs drilling for shale gas in the week ending 6 March 2015, down from 1,606 in the summer of
2008. And yet US gas production has continued to rise.
Baker Hughes
47% of economists expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the second quarter of 2015.
Wall Street Journal survey of more than 60 economists

EUROZONE

55% of Greeks say they don't feel a citizen of Europe; 74 per cent of Germans say they do.
Eurobarometer survey of Autumn 2014
$0.80 Goldman Sachs's forecast for the value of 1 euro by the end of 2017. Euro-dollar was $1.20 in January 2015.
Goldman Sachs note

UK

68% of people who have an awareness of the government's pensions reforms say they don't expect to reconsider their retirement income options as a result.
Franklin Templeton survey of 2,000 People
89% of medium sized businesses prefer a Conservative win in the General Election.
BDO survey of 1,000 mid-market business leaders

COLOMBIA

4.8% GDP growth in Colombia in 2014. Brazil grew by just 0.1 per cent.

CHILE

18% Fall in copper prices means the metal is trading around fiveyear lows, following weakened global demand.

BRAZIL

56% Rise in Arabica coffee prices over the last year, following drought in key growing areas of Brazil.

AFRICA

5.5% Nigeria's projected GDP growth rate for 2015, down from 6.4 per cent on lower oil prices.
Nigerian finance ministry
$36.2bn The total amount of foreign investment secured by Egypt at a three-day conference this month. Siemens signed a $4.2bn power deal.

RUSSIA

$120bn Total capital outflows expected from Russia this year, following capital flight of $150bn last year.
Russian Central Bank

CHINA

13m The number of new urban jobs created in China in 2014. Despite this, consumption has wobbled.
2,137
Standard Chartered's Renminbi Globalisation Index, which tracks progress in the internationalisation of China's currency, rose 2.3 per cent month-onmonth in January, the fastest growth in 8 months.

INDIA

30% Growth in India's Sensex equity market index in the year to 16 March 2015.
$340bn
India's export target for 2014-15, a key plank of Prime Minister Modi's Make in India programme.

JAPAN

2.4 Japan's big manufacturer sentiment index fell in the first quarter as confidence in Abenomics dims. The index fell from 8.1 in the prior three months.
Japanese Ministry of Finance

AUSTRALIA

206% Private sector debt-to- GDP in Australia, up from a pre-crisis level of 191 per cent.
5th Australia's position in a ranking of the best places for investment in mining in 2014, down four places from 2013. Finland is now first.
Fraser Institute

Budget 2015

£15,240 ISA FLEXIBILITY
Alongside the new Isa limit of £15,240, savers will be allowed to withdraw and redeposit money in an Isa throughout the tax year, without having an impact on their annual allowance.
The move was welcomed by experts:“The only irony is we could end up with more Isa than pension millionaires,” says Steven Cameron, regulatory strategy director at Aegon UK.
£1,000 SAVINGS TAX ALLOWANCE
Basic rate taxpayers will not pay any tax on the first £1,000 of interest on savings. This new tax-free allowance drops to £500 for higher rate taxpayers, but additional rate payers will be taxed on all savings interest.
While the move represents a tax cut for many, Alex Henderson, tax partner at PwC, warns higher-rate taxpayers will bear the onus for compliance. “People who wouldn't dream of not paying all their tax could be caught out,” he says.
£1M LIFETIME PENSION ALLOWANCE
The lifetime allowance for tax-free pension savings has been cut again, from £1.25m to £1m. In 2011-12 the limit was £1.8m. Osborne deemed the lifetime allowance “unsustainable” at current levels, although he said the limit will begin to rise in line with inflation from 2018.
The move will be bad news for many savers. “This will affect more and more people over time,” says Kevin Davey, principal at Mercer. “This will force many individuals to review their overall long-term savings plan, and the balance of how they save between cash, Isas, and pensions to maximise their post-tax returns.”
£3,000 HELP TO BUY ISA
New Isas giving savers a 25 per cent top-up on cash saved towards a first home deposit will be launched. The government will add £50 to every £200 saved in a Help to Buy Isa, up to a maximum of £3,000 – and the cash must be used as downpayment on a mortgage. This scheme is “more attractive than virtually any other savings offering,” says David Kilshaw, head of private client tax at EY.

Related articles