Breakingviews

Review: China fails to live up to luxury hype

April 10, 2015

After a decade of red-hot growth, prospects have dimmed in luxury’s star market and given pause to high-end brands. With vigor returning to traditional hubs like the United States, a prediction that Chinese shoppers are establishing a Bling Dynasty looks premature at best.

Finding double-digit growth in India’s GDP fog

March 17, 2015

New statistics are deceptively rosy. If the economy can grow 7.4 pct when local interest rates are high and world demand low, how tough would 10 pct be? But complacency may lead to bad policies. Efficiency trends peg potential GDP growth at just 7 pct. Only reforms can lift it.

India’s “improved” GDP statistics strain credulity

February 2, 2015

Revised data shows the economy grew 6.9 pct in the year to last March, just as fiscal and monetary tightening was taming inflation and narrowing the current account deficit. That’s something no major economy has experienced in recent history. Investors are right to be sceptical.

China slowdown sets scene for urban struggle

January 20, 2015

Growth of 7.4 percent in 2014 - a rare miss of the country’s target - distracts from the real goal in 2015: keeping the all-important middle classes content. City-dwellers’ incomes are lagging GDP, property prices are falling, and job creation is losing momentum.

Bad ideas catching up with Latin America in 2015

December 29, 2014

For four years, the region has mostly lagged world economic growth. The IMF predicts another year of the same. While Pacific-oriented countries will shine, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela will suffer. With a couple of exceptions, misguided policies are coming home to roost.

Positive U.S. momentum could grow in 2015

December 23, 2014

Jitters like recessions abroad seem unlikely to derail America’s economic recovery as late-year growth, jobs and incomes came in unusually strong. Lower gas prices and the possibility that housing ticks up make even inevitable interest rate hikes look easy to shake off.

China’s superlative growth looks hard to sustain

December 18, 2014

Assume the economy expands as briskly in the next 20 years as in the past decade. Its share of world GDP could top 35 percent, a Breakingviews calculator shows. A static workforce would have achieved heroic productivity gains. If it doesn’t, China’s slowdown has only just begun.

Sorry, this is as good as the global recovery gets

By Edward Hadas
December 16, 2014

Since 2009, each new calendar year has brought declarations of the end of the crisis and predictions of an economic upswing. This time the mood is gloomy, and with reason. Weak growth turns out to be the new normal, not part of the transition.

Rouble free fall throws Russia into ugly spiral

December 16, 2014

The Russian currency kept falling after the central bank hiked its key rate from 10.5 pct to 17 pct, leaving policymakers with few sensible short-term options. Further out, only higher oil prices and an end to the Ukrainian stand-off can soothe markets. That’s unlikely to happen soon.

UK’s economic torpor looks structural

By Edward Hadas
December 4, 2014

The slow shrinkage of the UK fiscal deficit is one sign of a weak recovery. There are others – a sharp increase in the current account deficit and GDP per person below the 2007 level. The country’s problems are too deeply entrenched to be solved by government budget tinkering.