Breakingviews

Greece comes kicking and screaming to reform table

April 2, 2015

The Syriza government’s latest reform proposals include some concessions to its public creditors. The plan still lacks detail, and reneges on past promises. The government is fiddling while Athens burns, and the risk of an accidental euro zone exit is rising.

Enjoy UK’s economic idyll while it lasts

January 21, 2015

Britain seems to have reached the sunny uplands. Earnings are rising faster than prices, unemployment is falling and policy rate rises are off the agenda. But persistent disinflation casts a dark shadow. If prices stop rising, wage increases may also disappear.

America: land of phantom job openings

November 7, 2014

At 4.8 mln, it’s the most positions free since January 2001. Yet the hiring rate keeps falling. The largest gap is in low-wage roles. Comparatively high unemployment for less-educated workers suggests a skills deficit isn’t the problem. Companies just aren’t adding personnel.

Japan’s low unemployment masks overtime slump

October 14, 2014

The 3.5 percent jobless rate belies the severity of the sales tax increase in April. Blame it on Japan’s cuddly labour market: Employers facing a slump don’t let go of salarymen. Where their jitters do show up is in the market for overtime work, which is shrinking fast.

Ecuador economic “miracle” meets maturity

September 11, 2014

President Rafael Correa’s experiments in modern socialism helped the country cut poverty, grow and prosper. But his investment-led model has run its course. Now he has to soften his defiance of international norms, from the bond market to the World Bank, to keep progress alive.

Euro zone’s biggest problem is debt, not slow growth

By Edward Hadas
August 7, 2014

Growth is stumbling in Italy, Germany and elsewhere. That in itself would not be a huge problem – except that the sovereign debt mountain has kept growing even in “austere” years. This means states cannot spend their way out of trouble, and another crisis remains a real risk.

BoE can escape its self-made forward guidance trap

November 13, 2013

When the Bank of England linked monetary policy to the labour market, it was unduly pessimistic about unemployment. Governor Mark Carney is now trying to fine tune his message, but he could just simplify: rates will stay at record lows for a while, whatever the jobless rate.

UK growth story is good, but not that good

September 18, 2013

Hopes for a British economic recovery are running high. The news on inflation is a bit better too. But households have been saving less to spend more and the unhealthy addiction to housing bubbles is back. The enthusiasm for the UK economy needs to be tempered.

New despair seeps out of U.S. employment numbers

April 5, 2013

The economy added just 88,000 new jobs in March. And the number of people counted as available to work fell to its lowest level in 34 years, with disability claims up 25 pct since the boom. This new combination of low growth and long-term unemployable is a worrying trend.

Still a long slog ahead for U.S. jobs

February 8, 2012

Employment growth in the United States has started picking up. But even at a rate of 250,000 a month, roughly January’s figure, full employment may not be reached until 2020. A new Breakingviews calculator shows how a faster or slower pace of job creation changes that picture.