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Friday, June 12, 2009

NY Times: U.S. Better Off than Europe

by Calculated Risk on 6/12/2009 12:34:00 AM

Update: This is ugly from the Irish Times: Annual deflation rate hits 4.7% (ht Brian)

Prices fell 4.7 per cent in the year to May, the steepest rate since 1933, according to new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 4.7 per cent on an annual basis and by 0.5 per cent in the month. This compares to an increase of 0.8 per cent recorded in May 2008.
From Nelson Schwartz at the NY Times: U.S. Recovery Could Outstrip Europe’s Pace
Some private economists are even predicting that the American economy will resume growth in the fourth quarter, while Europe’s economy is expected to remain in recession well into 2010, after contracting an estimated 4.2 percent this year compared with an expected 2.8 percent decline in the United States.

“The shock originated in the U.S., but Europe is paying a higher price,” said Jean Pisani-Ferry, a former top financial adviser to the French government who is now director of Bruegel, a research center in Brussels.
“I think America is further ahead in terms of fixing problems with the banks,” said Mr. Pisani-Ferry, “and countries like Germany have been hurt tremendously by the decline in world trade.”

Figures released this week showed that German exports plunged 28.7 percent in April from a year earlier, the steepest drop since the government began keeping records in 1950.
Underscoring the risk that hopes for a quick turnaround anywhere may be premature, the World Bank said Thursday that it expected the global economy to shrink by nearly 3 percent in 2009, far deeper than the 1.7 percent contraction it predicted just over two months ago.

And both Europe and the United States face the specter of rapidly rising unemployment, even if a rebound is beginning.
Not much to say - misery loves company.