Something to cheer

Some light appeared at the end of the recession tunnel as France and Germany announced unexpected return to growth. This means that now four of the world’s five largest economies and six of the top ten are not in recession. Adding to the sense of optimism, the US Federal Reserve left rates unchanged, saying the world’s largest economy was showing signs of levelling out. Economists had predicted a decline of 0.3% for both France and Germany for the second quarter (April-June) of 2009, but they surprised themselves and the rest of the world by announcing that they had in fact recorded growth of 0.3% each. Among the five largest economies of the world measured in purchasing power parity (PPP) dollars—which enables us to compare apples with apples when discussing different economies—China and India are already growing at healthy rates, even though these are lower than their pace over the last few years. Japan too has climbed out of recession, and now so has Germany. These economies along with the US account for 47% of the world’s GDP in PPP terms. The Eurozone as a whole is also now projected to have contracted by just 0.1% compared to the 2.5% fall in GDP in the first quarter (January-March). The growth rates reported by Germany and France may not seem particularly exciting, but considering that Germany’s GDP shrank by 3.5% in the first quarter, and France’s by 1.3%, it’s quite a smart turnaround. Among the world’s other large economies, Brazil is also now no longer in recession, having grown by 1.5% in the second quarter.

No comments: