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Category Archives: US economy

No recovery in sight for Labour markets

This is the view of the global employment situation according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in its World of Work Report 2012: Better Jobs for a Better Economy”. The report says that there are still 50 million less jobs available than were there before the global crisis, and warned that an even more problematic job phase was emerging. The … Continue reading

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China’s April trade surplus will cause problems with the US

China recorded a trade surplus of $11.4bn or £7bn in April. This was from a surplus of only $140m in March but was about four times greater than analysts had been expecting. Why does this pose a problem for the US? It is because many Americans believe that the Chinese currency, the yuan, is undervalued. An undervalued currency means that … Continue reading

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QE too?

Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve announced that it was introducing its second round of quantitative easing, by pumping $600bn (£373bn) into its economy by the end of June 2011. Will the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England follow suit? The answer for the meantime is ‘no’. Today they decided to keep interest rates on hold at 0.5% for … Continue reading

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China raises interest rates, MPC divided.

China has announced its first rise in interest rates for three years. According to the People’s Bank of China, its one-year lending rate goes up from 5.31% to 5.6% and its one-year deposit rate also rises from 2.25% to 2.5%. Why has China done this? In recent years double-digit rates of economic growth have become familiar in the country. In … Continue reading

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The truth about global exports

When we try to explain Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage we invariably use a two country, two product example. Two hundred years ago, when Ricardo first put forward his theory of international specialisation and trade, it was really that simple. We produced something wholly within our country and sold it to their country. They produced something different, completely within their … Continue reading

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International Monetary Fund powerless to act

The word ‘war’ has been on the lips of international negotiators in recent months. This is nothing to do with Afghanistan or Iraq, but is just as significant. This is about the possibility of a global currency war. There are imbalances in the global economy which were at the heart of the recent collapse of the world economy. What are … Continue reading

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Government spending and crowding out

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in the US has just revised a forecast it made for the effect of the government deficit and debt on the crowding out of investment. They were taken to task for figures which seemed to overstate the relationship, which had given ammunition to some commentators who are in favour of severe cutbacks in government expenditure. … Continue reading

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Record US budget deficit in February

So you think we have problems in the UK? In February the US recorded a budget deficit of $220.9bn which is just under £150bn. This figure was up 14% on the same month a year ago and the biggest monthly deficit ever recorded in the US. The country has now been running a deficit for seventeen consecutive months which is … Continue reading

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US economy bounces back

Figures published at lunchtime today show that the US economy grew during the third quarter from July to September at an annual rate of 3.5%. This follows four consecutive quarters of decline from the third quarter of 2008 of -2.7%, -5.4%, -6.4% and -0.7%.   It should be noted that the US states its GDP figures in a different way … Continue reading

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UK lagging in terms of economic recovery

The good news according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is that the global economy is now expected to recover earlier than previously forecast. The bad news is that the UK is not going to be part of it.   In fact the OECD now believes that the UK economy will shrink by 4.7% in 2009, which … Continue reading

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