Canada’s near two-year-long attempt to boost exports through a weaker currency so far has proved futile.
If the most populous country in the world, as well as the largest consumer of raw materials, starts shying away from imports, that means global demand and, by extension, the world economy is taking a real hit.
The recent stretch of dire economic data from Germany is starting to bear an unfortunate resemblance to late 2008 – when Lehman Brothers collapsed and the world tipped into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
By this time tomorrow, the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party is likely to be celebrating its first member of the Westminster parliament. Polls have just opened in the deprived seaside town of Clacton where the sitting Conservative lawmaker switched to UKIP and called a vote.
German trade data, already out, showed both exports and imports rose more than expected in April – up a sharp 2.3 and 1.9 percent respectively. That suggests that its fabled industrial base is in reasonable shape but also that domestic demand is holding up, possibly helped by some above-inflation pay deals. The figures represent a significant bounce from the first quarter when Europe’s largest economy just managed to eke out some growth.