Boom/Gloom Index stalls as austerity worries rise

Economic growth

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Index May12.pngEU policymakers like to pretend that the Eurozone debt crisis was resolved by the adoption of last March’s new Treaty. An even more disturbing thought is that they might even believe their own propaganda. Who knows?

But on the ground, it is crystal clear that the problems continue to multiply. Latest data from the Bank for International Settlements (the central bankers’ bank) shows lending within Europe continues to slow, as the blog will discuss on Saturday. This is not good news for the global growth agenda.

Meanwhile, the blog’s own Boom/Gloom Index remains stalled for a 3rd month at the 4.0 level (blue column) that has historically divided boom from gloom. And the austerity reading (red line) continues to rise.

The Index’s paralysis seems to mirror rising political uncertainty:

• Next Sunday sees the final round of the French presidential election
• Greece votes the same day for a new government
• Ireland votes later this month in its Eurozone treaty referendum
• The USA is entering presidential elections

Equally, jostling for power continues in Russia (after its recent election) and in China (ahead of the politburo changes in October).

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