Posts Tagged ‘eurozone’
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the global economy to increase by 2.9% this year and 3.6% in 2014—forecasts which I believe are too optimistic. Why?
First of all, we have the Japanese economy, the third-biggest in the global economy, suffering an economic slowdown. Tertiary industry activity (activity in the service businesses) slowed in September from a month ago. (Source: Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, November 12, 2013.)
Then there’s Germany, the fourth-biggest economy in the global economy. Once believed to be immune to the economic slowdown in the eurozone, seasonally adjusted manufacturing output in the country declined 0.8% in September from August. As of September, year-to-date manufacturing output in the German economy has increased only 1.2%—a much slower growth rate than in the same period of 2012. (Source: Destatis, November 8, 2013.)
Earlier this month, in a statement about its monetary policy decision, the central bank of Australia said, “In Australia, the economy has been growing a bit below trend over the past year and the unemployment rate has edged higher. This is likely to persist in the near term… Public spending is forecast to be quite weak.” (Source: “Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision,” Reserve Bank of Australia, November 5, 2013.)
To fight the economic slowdown in the country, the Reserve Bank of Australia is using easy monetary policy measures. The central bank has reduced its benchmark interest rate in the country by more than 40% since the beginning of 2012. The cash rate, the overnight money market interest rate, sits at 2.50% compared to 4.25% in early 2012. (Source: Reserve Bank of Australia … Read More
My take on the eurozone is that the smaller financially-troubled countries will eventually lead the bigger countries into a further economic slowdown and cause more problems for the eurozone. We can see this right now. While Germany, the biggest economic hub in the eurozone, has kept strong ground, France, the second-largest economy in the eurozone, has become a victim.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, manufacturing output in France declined 1.1% in the third quarter from the second quarter of 2013, and dropped two percent on a year-over-year basis. Demand in the country is in the slumps; manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment witnessed a decline of 1.9% in output, and manufacturers of food products and beverages saw their output plummet 2.3% year-over-year. (Source: National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, November 8, 2013.)
But the misery for the French economy doesn’t end with those bleak output figures. Standard & Poor’s (S&P), the credit rating agency, recently slashed the credit rating of France one notch lower. The statement from S&P: “We believe the French government’s reforms to taxation, as well as to product, services, and labor markets, will not substantially raise France’s medium-term growth prospects.” (Source: “S&P lowers France credit rating, cites slow reform pace,” Reuters, November 8, 2013.)
The French economy facing a further economic slowdown shouldn’t be overlooked by investors here in the U.S. economy. As I repeatedly say in these pages, the U.S. economy isn’t isolated from what happens elsewhere in the global economy.
Dear reader, the eurozone remaining in an economic slowdown (and it could actually get worse before it’s over) tells … Read More
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