News

Predictability is a long-sought but elusive state in the modern economy. It seems particularly elusive at the moment. Unusual uncertainty and volatility are delaying the global economy’s healing process. We all have some tolerance for turbulence, but at a certain point even the strongest stomachs start to churn – and at that point, the resulting rush for a remedy can wreak havoc with the economy.

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

With all the troubles swirling around Western Europe these days, one economy stands out. By all appearances, Germany is an island of sanity in a fiscal and financial world gone mad. While growth in the rest of the world is faltering, impressive performance has lifted consensus growth for Germany to 3.7%, the envy of the G7. Does Germany have a secret antidote for what ails the world economy?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

Early in 2008, rising prices sparked widespread worries about food shortages in Southeast Asia. Further price increases ensued as households staged a run on local food supplies – creating the tangible appearance of a food crisis when in actual fact, food supplies were quite sufficient to meet the demands of the market. Fortunately, when flows resumed, calm was restored.

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

Nothing puts a smile on the face these days like a good month of job growth. But the frowns etching the faces of leaders and lackeys alike tell today’s tale - employment numbers have not impressed, increasing the focus on this key indicator. Concern is motivating new job-creation programs in various countries as a means of kick-starting economic activity. Will the programs meet expectations?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

Prior to the global financial and economic meltdown, observers were heralding news that the world was decoupling. As the last growth cycle peaked, many market watchers saw divergent growth as a sign that the world was moving away from a single economic growth engine. Indeed, emerging market growth was roaring ahead, and even Europe seemed to be diverging from US growth trends.

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

International trade flows have aptly illustrated the global economy’s three-year roller-coaster ride. By January 2009, global exports had tumbled 19% in just six months. But since then, world exports have vastly outpaced GDP growth, rising at a 16% annualized pace with hardly a pause. Until recently. Activity peaked in March, but has since fallen 2.5%. Is this temporary, or a more serious setback?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

Two steps forward, one step back. That seems to be the current cadence of the world economy. While it suggests progress, it is frustrating. The momentum that was clearly building over the past year has recently downshifted. Is this the best the global economy can do, or are better times ahead?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

A galloping charger needs restraints. Not so the placid horse. Which one characterizes current EU inflation? The ECB sees the former, and has seen fit to grasp the reins more tightly, raising key interest rates for the second time in three months. Analysts are divided, and the stakes are high.

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

May, 2010 was just a few days old when the world economy hit a troubling inflection point. Concerns about the viability of Southern European economies combined with slowing growth to sour recovery hopes. Pundits are now proclaiming modest growth in unison, but commodity markets must have the earplugs in. Prices should be falling, but instead they are going the other way. What’s going on?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »