In this section of the site we cover three areas of finance: the behaviour of share prices, of household debt and of house prices. The data sources are given in the right-hand panel. And from the side panel you will also be able to download the data in Excel or Comma-separated (CSV) formats (the latter being simple text files which can be read into any text editor or spreadsheet.)
Share prices, or indices based on the prices of a collection of shares, are often taken as an indicator of an economy’s buoyancy. On this page we show the rationale for this view and why it should be treated cautiously. In the commentary we present evidence from the UK and other countries on the nominal and real performance of various share indices and their behaviour prior to and after the financial crisis of 2007.
In recent years, and especially since the financial crisis, concerns have been raised about the level of indebtedness of households. In this page we briefly explain why a rise in indebtedness need not be a sign of an unhealthy economy and we present evidence on the evolution of household debt in the UK and other countries in recent years. In the commentary we show that in the UK and other countries household financial assets exceed their liabilities.
House prices have been a major concern in recent years in many countries. In the USA the house price boom and subsequent bust in the early part of this century triggered the great financial crisis of 2007/8. In the UK the rise in house prices and the resultant difficulty for the young to ‘get a foot on the housing ladder’ have highlighted growing inequality. In this page we briefly explain the relationship between house prices and the financial crisis. In the commentary we show the variety of experience across countries and the exceptional nature of the rise in house prices in the UK.