Saturday, 22 October 2011

UK inflation hit 5.2% in September 2011

UK inflation hit 5.2% in September 2011 according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

More precisely Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation stands at 5.2% for September 2011. The CPI has never been higher but was also 5.2% in September 2008.

The Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation stands at 5.6% in September 2011, the highest it has been for over 20 years. The ONS report that last time RPI annual inflation was higher was in June 1991 when it stood at 5.8%.

There are some important differences between these two main ways the ONS use to measure inflation. The government prefers the Consumer Price Index, which also includes services, housing, electricity, food, and transportation, but the Retail Price Index covers more items.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Michelin stars 2012

This years Michelin stars have been handed out with the full 2012 list including a pub with two stars for the first time.

150 restaurants have been awarded stars, with four with 3 stars and 17 with two stars.

The three stars are: the Fat Duck, Bray; the Waterside Inn, Bray; Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair.

There are 13 new entrants this year with one star and two moved from one to two stars. The city of Westminster boasts the highest number of star restaurants (36).

Sunday, 2 October 2011

University applications - which subjects are up and down

More UK students are going to university than ever before, according to the latest Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures.

Over 1.3 million students were enrolled in undergraduate degrees in 2009/10. This was the highest increase in the last 5 years (4.9% since 08/09 or 11.3% since 05/06). The increase in Postgraduate students has almost double year on year from 234,210 in 2005/06 to just under 300,000 in 2010/11, or 27.3% in 5 years.

We've mapped the numbers by year and subject - you can explore it here:
It appears that sciences are becoming popular again. For undergraduate degrees, Mathematical sciences recorded the biggest percentage increase on the previous year as 26,225 students opted for the subject in 2009/10 - a 26.3% increase on 2005/06 and 7.9% from the previous year.

Business & administrative studies, mass communication & documentation and engineering & technology saw the biggest rises after mathematical sciences for full-time undergraduate students.

Business & administrative studies remains the most popular subject (21% and 13.3% of undergraduate and postgraduate students respectively). Subjects allied to medicine and Creative arts follow closely in popularity.