Ian Stewart, Deloitte’s chief economist, poses the trickiest economics questions of the year
1. Between spring and autumn 2013, which of these countries received the largest upgrade to its 2013 GDP growth forecast from the IMF?
b. United States
c. United Kingdom
2. Which luxury asset class saw the biggest increase in value between 2003 and 2013?
a. Classic cars
d. Fine wine
3. In May 2013, the Pew Research Center asked residents of eight European nations about their perceptions of their European neighbours. Which nation was seen as being the most trustworthy?
4. Which Eurozone country will have the healthiest underlying government budget balance in 2013, according to the IMF?
5. Which of these innovations features on MIT’s list of Ten Breakthrough Technologies of 2013?
a. Drone aircraft
c. 3D printing
6. Who are the world’s happiest people, according to the UN’s 2013 World Happiness Report?
a. The Danes
b. The Australians
c. The Swiss
7. Which asset class rose more than 70 per cent in value in 2013?
b. Greek government bonds
c. Global junk bonds
d. The Japanese yen
8. In a blind test conducted by Which? Magazine, Aldi’s mince pies were the top scorers at 78 per cent, well above lowest-rated Fortnum and Mason’s at 54 per cent. A box of six Fortnum & Mason mince pies costs £12.95. How many Aldi mince pies could you buy for the same money?
9. In which of the following countries do employees work the most hours each year?
d. United States
10. In 2002, Andrew Oswald of Warwick University and David Blanchflower of Dartmouth College published a paper that estimated the monetary value of a lasting marriage. Keeping all other factors constant, they computed the amount of money people who are widowed or separated would need to be paid, on average every year, to make them as happy as those who are married. What do you think that amount is?
11. According to the UN, averaging across the world’s population, life expectancy at birth was 47 years in 1950. Where does it stand now?
12. Which of these countries does the IMF expect to be the fastest growing in the world in 2013?
a. South Sudan
13. Analysis by Forbes Magazine shows that, between 1901 and 1931, Germany won 38 Nobel Prizes – more than any other country and two-and-a-half times the number of US wins. Between 1950 and 1980, the US won 117 Nobel Prizes. How many did Germany win over this period?
14. Match the quote to the individual: (a) Bernie Madoff, (b) Lord Mervyn King, and (c) David Cameron.
1. “The world economy [is] more stable than for a generation … Our hugely sophisticated financial markets match funds with ideas better than ever before.”
2. “It is quite possible that at some point we may get an odd quarter or two of negative growth, but recession is not the central projection at all.”
3. “In today’s regulatory environment, it is virtually impossible to violate rules.”
15. Match the following three billionaires to the percentage changes in their net worth over the last 24 months, as measured by Forbes Magazine: (1) Mark Zuckerberg, (2) Bill Gates and (3) Silvio Berlusconi.
a. +28 per cent
b. -21 per cent
c. +41 per cent