Japan may well have looked like the odd-one-out after Monday’s news its economy grew 0.1 percent over the second quarter – about the feeblest expansion possible.
Europe’s big players were already in full swagger after posting growth second quarter growth that often exceeded predictions, and the U.S. economy – although clearly slowing – still expanded at a decent pace over the same period.
But looks are deceptive, especially from preliminary three-month snapshots of the rich-world economies, and Japan’s lethargy is probably still the rule, not the exception.
That’s the message from Reuters monthly polls of more than 250 economists, who see quarter-on-quarter growth in the likes of the euro zone and United States hovering around half a percentage point for some time yet.
Last week’s news of an explosive 2.2 percent quarterly growth rate for Germany and 1.0 percent for the wider euro zone could prompt forecasters to bump up their predictions in the September poll. Yet there was little sign of them upgrading growth forecasts in the last UK poll, conducted after similarly surprising news that Britain’s economy grew at its fastest pace in four years in the second quarter.