Questions and answers about
the UK economy.

New PostLessons from history

What can we learn from the role of coal in the Industrial Revolution?

Coal played an important role in the Industrial Revolution, but the air pollution it created eventually acted as a drag on economic growth. As we seek to achieve a net-zero economy, there are important lessons from the energy and industrial transitions ushered in by coal.

Talking Economics

Our first annual conference took place in Bristol on 17-19 November 2021. Click here to see the full programme and listen back to the talks.

Banks & financial markets

What would the currency options be for an independent Scotland?

If Scotland were to become independent from the rest of the UK, it would need to decide what currency to use. Options include sticking with sterling, creating a new national currency or joining a monetary union, such as the eurozone.

Energy & climate change

Why are UK energy prices rising?

Gas and electricity are becoming more expensive, largely because of rising import costs. The recent increase in the price cap set by Ofgem, the UK’s energy market regulator, saw bills go up for millions of households across the country.

Business, big & small

What next for the growth of women’s football?

Women’s football matches are attracting record crowds, but funding still lags far behind the men’s game. Clubs that are putting money into their women’s teams are seeing the positive effects, but biases in perceptions of quality and potential are limiting further investment.

Data Hub

Live and interactive charts and visualisations, making sense of the latest numbers

Business, big & small

How is the cost of living crisis affecting retailers and their customers?

Retail sales are falling. As many consumers struggle to afford basic products, their spending habits and where they shop are changing. Some retailers are struggling to stay profitable, as sales decline while the costs of goods, energy, transport and staff rise.

Nations, regions & cities

What would it take to level up the UK?

The government’s levelling up agenda seeks to reduce disparities across the UK. Policies to boost economic performance will need to attract workers and firms away from London and the South East and improve opportunities in ‘left-behind’ places – but success depends on significant investment.



Record-breaking temperatures in the UK this week highlight the danger posed by climate change. And the fires spreading across Europe warn of the steep environmental and economic costs that lie ahead, all while people battle to stay afloat amid the escalating cost of living crisis.

All Answers