Edward Hadas: Migration unpicks globalisation myth

By Edward Hadas
September 23, 2015

Some economists see the unexpected inflow into Europe as an easy win, adding to GDP and countering ageing. But those changes hardly matter. More important is that migration challenges the idea of a global economy. Political borders still set the economic agenda.

Luxury faces tough quest for next big market

August 27, 2015

China’s slowdown and weaker currency have hit share prices of bauble-peddlers LVMH and Swatch. The hunt is on for luxury’s next hotspot. India and Brazil show promise, but a mix of scale, rising incomes and inequality is elusive. Better opportunities may be closer to home.

China GDP surprise leaves central bank on the hook

July 15, 2015

Quarterly growth hit a surprisingly strong 7 pct and the bean-counters say expansion is “ready to pick up.” That’s too hopeful given stubborn disinflation and other signs of wariness among companies and consumers. Stock markets have rebounded, but interest rates must still fall.

Missing motorbikes point to Indonesian demand hole

June 19, 2015

A 36 percent slide in motorcycle sales in May shows just how fast falling commodity prices are eroding purchasing power. More worrying, however, is President Joko Widodo’s failure to offset the shortfall by boosting investment. A weakening currency is compounding the challenge.

Edward Hadas: Bring on kitchen economics

By Edward Hadas
June 17, 2015

A distinguished professor accuses his academic opponents of “mathiness”. It is wrong to use fancy formulas to justify intellectual prejudice. The discipline is poisoned by models created with mathematical abstractions. Equations muddy almost all economic debates.

Japan’s GDP lift is bounty from currency war

June 8, 2015

Output grew 3.9 percent in the first quarter, much faster than the 2.4 percent rate previously estimated. Investments made all the difference. Japanese exporters are ramping up capacity as they use the weak yen to fight for market share. Higher wages may be the next hopeful sign.

India GDP growth is one-third statistical illusion

June 5, 2015

Official data have become utterly unreliable. A Breakingviews analysis of corporate and consumer behaviour suggests growth is now closer to 5 percent than the 7.5 percent claimed by the authorities. Investors are quite right to be upset by half-hearted monetary easing.

Immigration is crucial to euro zone’s fortunes

By Edward Hadas
June 2, 2015

The flow of people into the single currency area could account for most of the region’s GDP growth over the next few years. Migration magnifies trends. The slower flow of new workers made the recession worse. A speed-up could turn a tepid recovery into a surprisingly strong one.

Renzi is still dodging big Italian pension fight

May 21, 2015

The prime minister has found a clever way to blunt a constitutional court ruling on pensions that threatened to blow a hole in Italy’s budget. That avoids a conflict with Brussels. But he hasn’t bitten the bullet on the bigger pension issue: bloated spending that stifles growth.

Edward Hadas: The uses and abuses of GDP

By Edward Hadas
May 20, 2015

The standard measure of output is a useful indicator of short-term trends. It can also help compare levels of development. In poor countries, faster GDP growth is a good policy goal. But in richer countries, GDP-think misses important economic changes and challenges.