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Posts Tagged ‘Double-dip recession’

United Kingdom Officially Enters Double Dip Recession

April 25th, 2012 Comments off

For the first time in about 40 years, the UK has gone into a double dip recession. London’s Office for National Statistics reported a 0.2 percent contraction in GDP in Q1 of 2012. That drop, following a 0.3 percent fall in Q4, represents two consecutive months of economic contraction, meeting the technical definition of an economic recession.

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said, “It’s a very tough economic situation. It’s taking longer than anyone hoped to recover from the biggest debt crisis of our lifetime… over many years this country built up massive debts, which we are having to pay off.”

That sums of the UK’s economic and fiscal conundrum, and that of other advanced economies. The austerity measures required to trim back government deficits represent a fiscal drag on the economy. That in turn retards economic growth and reduces government revenues, countering the intended goal of the austerity measures. On the other hand, maintaining high deficit spending is unsustainable. The politicians have created problem that defies solution.

                 

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IMF Cuts Global Economic Growth Forecast

January 25th, 2012 Comments off

The International Monetary Fund has another revised global forecast that reflects growing pessimism. In the debt-crisis ravaged Eurozone, the IMF now projects negative growth of minus .5 percent, in effect a double-dip recession. A recession means plummeting tax revenue, rendering the sovereign debt crisis even more  virulent.

While the IMF still projects overall global growth, though at a lower projected 3.3 percent, its latest report states that this strangely optimistic projection is “predicated on the assumption that in the euro area, policymakers intensify efforts to address the crisis.” In other words, the Eurozone must reverse its fiscal austerity, and once again engage in deficit stimulus spending.

What the IMF seems to ignore is that the bond market is increasingly unlikely to lend money to debt-strapped European economies at interest rates that are sustainable. Or, perhaps, the IMF is hoping it will gain a massive cash infusion so it can bail out Eurozone economies, or the European Central Bank will get the hint, and start running its printing press at maximum velocity. But not even the ECB’s printing machine, along with the IMF, can easily sort out this economic and fiscal crisis.

 

                 

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Global Economic Outlook Is Increasingly Gloomy

August 22nd, 2011 Comments off

 

It is no longer a small group of prognosticators (including this blog) who are expressing grim thoughts on the trajectory of the global economic crisis. More and more, respected authorities on global finance and economics are weighing in with their dire predictions. Nouriel Roubini openly asks the question,  “Is Capitalism Doomed?”  Pimco’s Mohamed El-Erian indicates that the bond markets are pricing in a double-dip recession. Equities trading in bourses throughout the world are experiencing levels of volatility not seen since the onset of the crisis in the summer and fall of 2008.

It is now just a remnant of pundits who still believe that the global economy “recovered” after the reckless expansion of sovereign debt following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. These proverbial neo-Keynesian optimists have chosen to shut their eyes and cover their ears. But others who can sense what is happening in advanced and major developing economies know that we are in the midst of  something that does not have a positve ending.

 

                 

U.S. Jobless Claims Reach Highest Level In 8 Months

May 5th, 2011 Comments off

In a surprise and disturbing development, weekly unemployment assistance claims in the United States have reached 474,000. This is the largest weekly jobless claims report in eight months, and an increase of about ten percent over the prior week, despite predictions by economists that this week’s jobless report would actually show a drop in unemployment claims.

The current report is a major negative shift from several weeks earlier, when jobless claims dropped below 400,000. The unexpected and rapid acceleration in jobless claims is a clear indicator that the U.S. economy remains mired in deep crisis, with persistent and historically high rates of unemployment.

With the Obama stimulus expenditures running out of steam, a Republican dominated Congress unwilling to further increase deficit spending for more stimulus, and the Federal Reserve’s massive monetary intervention proving to be ineffective in facilitating job creation, all the signs are that the American economy is headed for a double-dip recession.

 

 

 

Nouriel Roubini Sees Growing Risk of Double Dip Recession in the U.S.

September 6th, 2010 Comments off

NYU Economics Professor Nouriel Roubini believes that the risk of a double dip recession is growing in the United States. He assesses the  probability of a double dip at 40%, the other scenario being subpar economic growth (under one percent), which feels like a recession in terms of high unemployment, growing public deficits, declining home values and increased losses among banks and financial institutions.

“You don’t need negative economic growth to feel like a recession  when growth is well below trend growth,” Roubini said in a recent Financial Times interview. Even if a double dip is technically avoided in the last quarter of 2010, Nouriel Roubini’s forecast for 2011 is dire. He sees the risk of a double dip recession increasing, along with widening credit spreads and interbank lending rates. Compounding his gloomy projection, Roubini sees little left for policymakers to grapple with, either on the monetary or fiscal side. In particular, he sees another flurry of quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve as being “impotent.”

The downbeat perspective of Roubini on the U.S. economy extends to Europe, where he believes the recent impressive growth figures in Germany are merely temporary. Furthermore, he points out, Germany is the best performing economy in the Eurozone, where the remaining countries are facing disaster. Half of the Eurozone is already experiencing a double dip recession. In addition, Japan is courting a double dip, and even strong emerging economies such as China are showing signs of an economic slowdown.

The economist known as “Dr. Doom” is actually trying to view economic trends in a realistic manner. If his interpretation of emerging trends strikes a chord of doom and gloom, one needs to look critically at those trends rather than marginalize the messenger. It should be recalled that when Nouriel Roubini issued his warning about the coming collapse of the financial order as we once knew it, based on a house of cards and subprime mortgages, he was harshly ridiculed by many mainstream economists. All the more reason to listen to what he has to say about the current state of the global economy.
 

 

Overall, I have not seen Professor Roubini so gloomy on the state of the global economy since his prescient warnings of  financial Armageddon approaching in the months leading up to the implosion of the investment banks in the summer and fall of 2008.

Double Dip Recession is on the Global Economic Menu

June 9th, 2010 Comments off

Ever since the monetary spigots and fiscal deficit pump primers were set on overload in the wake of the global recession that erupted following the Wall Street calamities of 2008, many economists have warned about the danger of a double dip recession. In other words,  the underlying weakness of the advanced economies most impacted by the recession  is so severe, an anaemic recovery may be shortly followed by a quick return to economic contraction. This is in fact what is increasingly likely to occur.

After incurring a flood tide of debt to cover the losses of the private banking sector, many advanced economies doubled down their bets by unleashing another torrent of debt for economic stimulus activity. The Keynesian policymakers assumed that the massive dose of public debt would quickly restore economic growth, thus ending the global economic crisis.

What has in fact  happened is that unprecedented levels of massive growth in the public debt has, at best, bought a feeble, anaemic and jobless “recovery,” with many economists calling for additional deficits for more stimulus spending. However, the bond markets have begun to react to the increasingly unsustainable levels of public debt. Thus, in short order we saw the Greek debt crisis evolve into the European debt crisis. Sovereigns that once boasted of their deficit spending are now in a panic, desperately trying to find ways of shrinking their structural deficits. The UK is joining with major Eurozone countries such as Germany in warning their citizens that austere times lie ahead, as governments reverse direction and begin to cut spending. These sombre voices are being echoed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and G20, as those officials, largely American, who are still calling for more deficit spending are now being drowned out by increasingly desperate European sovereigns, who have caught the scent of public default and national insolvency, and the apocalyptic economic repercussions that would ensue.

Now, what happens to a weak and artificial recovery from the worst economic recession since World War II when the fiscal deficits which alone underpin this so-called recovery are sharply curtailed? The answer is clear except to the politicians; double dip recession lies ahead, which will likely transform the global economic crisis into a full-blown synchronized depression.