Economics Online Banner


CPI inflationCPI inflation - down to lowest level in a generation, at 1.0%.  More...

UK GDPCurrent account - Deficit reaches record high at £72.4 bn, 4.2% of GDP.

UnemploymentUnemployment - down again, to 6.0%, the lowest rate since 2008. More..

UK GDPUK trade figures - Sterling undermines rebalancing strategy.

UK GDPUK growth - GDP up 0.7% in the third quarter of 2014.


Bank of England and Mark CarneyBank of England - downgrades unemployment threshold.

OECDOECD - latest forecasts for the OECD countries..More

Updates statisticsUpdates Get the latest updates on the UK economy, including GDP, inflation. More..

UK Energy marketEnergy market - to be investigated by new competition watchdog More..

Revision guidesStudy guides Latest resources for students from Economics Online

Data response techiqueHow to answer data response questions. More...

Multiple choiceMultiple choice tests Improve knowledge and understanding of Economics. More...







Chemical cartel

The European Chemical Cartel

In 2006, seven European chemical companies were fined a total of £275m for operating an illegal cartel that fixed chemical prices in continental Europe and the UK.

The particular chemical in question was hydrogen peroxide, and agent for bleaching textiles and an ingredient in many domestic soap powders.

The seven companies were found guilty by the European Competition regulator, the European Competition Commission, of two particular practices: price fixing of chemicals and ‘carving-up’ the chemical market across Europe.

The cartel came to light in 2002 when one company involved became a ‘whistle blower’ and gained immunity from prosecution.

The fines were the third largest imposed by the European Commission, mainly reflecting the fact that the participants of the cartel were repeat offenders.

Source: The Times, May 2006.