G-4 Real GDP Growth

May 21, 2009

The table below documents annualized rates of real GDP contraction between the third quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 and for the four quarters to 1Q09.  These comparisons show a three-speed recession.  Japan has weakened most severely, and the United States had the mildest drop-off, if one can call drops of 6.2% […] More

Reality Checks

May 13, 2009

Several developments have grabbed the attention of investors, who had become previously comfortable with the notion that the global recession is becoming less intense.  Substantial and widespread weakness persists. U.S. retail sales fell 0.4% last month on top of a 1.3% plunge in March, a two-month annualized 9.7% rate of decline.  That is almost as […] More

Green Shoots

April 30, 2009

Every day seemingly brings at least one pleasant data surprise and often more than one.  Portents of an end to the deepest and longest post-WW2 recession are not limited to one or two countries, but rather spread around the world’s regions and range of rich and poorer economies. New U.S. claims for unemployment insurance averaged […] More

A Widely Shared World Recession

April 27, 2009

Newly revised IMF forecasts project a 1.3% contraction of world GDP in 2009 followed by a 1.9% recovery in 2010.  Growth over the four years to 2010 amounts to just 2.2% per annum in spite of a 5.2% rise of GDP in the first year of that period.  All of the net growth in between […] More

G-7 Meeting Pretty Uneventful

April 24, 2009

The meeting of G-7 central bank chiefs and finance ministers in Washington produced no significant new revelations or surprises.  A released statement and comments by attendees after the meeting adopted a tone of guarded hope.  The global economic outlook remains “weak” — severe in Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa’s personal opinion — and “downside risks […] More

Friday's G-7 and G-20 Meetings

April 21, 2009

Finance ministers from the Group of 20 will meet Friday to discuss implementation of the broad goals promised by their leaders at the London summit on April 2nd.  Group of Seven central bankers and finance ministers also gather in Washington on Friday for the second of their three scheduled meetings this year.  When they last […] More

Expected Rates of Economic Expansion

April 13, 2009

A monthly survey of forecasters compiled by The Economist provides a handy comparison of consensus market expectations of economic growth across a variety of advanced economies.  Results of the latest survey published in the latest issue showed downward revisions to projected 2009 GDP growth for all 13 national economies covered and the euro area as […] More

Fourth-Quarter Growth in the G-3

April 7, 2009

The final 4Q08 revised Euroland GDP data were released today.  Comparable U.S. and Japanese numbers already had been published.  The United States and Euroland had identical contractions of 6.3% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, while Japanese GDP plunged by a much sharper 12.1% saar.  Net exports and business investment each accounted for 56% of […] More

G-20 Actions Applauded by Market

April 2, 2009

Today’s summit of G-20 leaders in London had hung over financial markets throughout March.  Expectations of what might get accomplished had diminished late in that month amid publicly aired disputes over the need for additional fiscal stimulus on a national level, how tightly to regulate, the pros and cons of quantitative monetary easing, and whether […] More

New Growth Forecasts From the OECD

March 31, 2009

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, headquartered in Paris, has 30 members.  All of the G-7 (U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, and Canada) belong to the OECD, which also includes 14 other Western European nations, 4 Eastern European countries, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and New Zealand.  The table below presents the new […] More