10 business stats you may find surprising

Smarta has been polishing up its crystal ball of late, in preparation for a piece looking at what businesses can expect next year. As a result, it's been coming across quite a few surprising statistics. Here are 10 of the best:

  1. During the past few years, the importance of action against climate change has filtered from activists business level. And yet in 2008, just one-third of consumers said they feel businesses behave ethically - compared to 2006, when almost twice that number agreed.
  2. The fact we're still struggling our way out of a recession is something online consumers don't seem to realise: online retail spend is predicted to rise £5bn this month - up a whopping 14% from last year.
  3. The total average online spend per UK internet user was £416 in 2003 - but by 2007, it had almost tripled to £1,475.
  4. Perhaps that's got something to do with how much time we spend online: on average, Brits spend around 34 days a year trawling the internet.
  5. This year, the number of people across the globe owning mobile phones surpassed four billion. Worldwide mobile phone access has now hit a staggering 90%, and in the UK, it will be 'truly ubiquitous' by 2015.
  6. Despite well-publicised fears about the ageing workforce, the number of over-40s in work won't surpass under-40s until 2023. And let's look on the bright side - the effects of climate change might be such that half the old codgers are wiped out by the cold. You never know.
  7. 113bn internet searches were conducted in July 2008 - 4% up on the year before. That's quite a few cups of tea.
  8. Bank lending has been rising since August. In fact, it's been up £300m since October alone.
  9. We may be worried about unemployment figures, but with a predicted unemployment rate of 10% in 2010, Britain is actually only the eighth worst in Europe - trailing countries such as Spain, with 20.5%, Ireland, with 15.1% and even Sweden, which is predicted to have 10.7% of its population out of work.
  10. Finally, this may come as less of a surprise and more of an inevitability, but while the Eurozone is likely to languish in negative figures when it comes to investment, in China, investment is expected to rise by more than 11%. So if you're looking to invest - or seeking investment - it might be a good idea to head east.

Sources: The CBI, The Economist, Times Online, BBC, Webuser, ITPro

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