The unbalanced global economy: American shopper

Posted: February 13, 2015 in economy
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UK Only Article: 
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Putin’s war on the West

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The unbalanced global economy


The world is once again relying too much on American consumers to power growth

A GLOBAL economy running on a single engine is better than one that needs jump leads. The American economy is motoring again, to the relief of exporters from Hamburg to Hangzhou. Firms added more than 1m net new jobs in the past three months, the best showing since 1997 (see article). Buoyed up by cheap petrol, Americans are spending; in January consumer sentiment jumped to its highest in more than a decade. The IMF reckons that American growth will hit 3.6% in 2015, faster than the world economy as a whole. All this is good. But growing dependence on the American economy—and on consumers in particular—has unwelcome echoes.
A decade ago American consumers borrowed heavily and recklessly. They filled their ever-larger houses with goods from China; they fuelled gas-guzzling cars with imported oil. Big exporters recycled their earnings back to America, pushing down interest …

via Economic Crisis


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