MacroScope is pleased to post the following from guest blogger Julian Chillingworth. Chillingworth is chief investment officer of UK investor Rathbones. He questions here whether Britain will face a second downturn shortly after struggling out of recession.
Britain’s recession, like the downturns in most other places, is being hailed as either having reachえｄ bottom or tailed off in its decline. The latest to trumpet the beginning of the end is the British Chambers of Commerce, which said business orders and sales had continued to fall in the second quarter but at a slower pace than previously.
Johns Hopkins University economist Christopher Carroll thinks U.S. consumers have finally got religion when it comes to saving, after years of free spending. For the sake of the broader economy, he is hoping they take to heart the prayer of Saint Augustine.
Economist James Hamilton was pretty offended by the rough treatment of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke last week at the hands of some U.S. politicians. But when he put up a defense of the Fed chief on his blog, he got an earful from readers who were critical of the U.S. central bank and suspicious over its role in the financial crisis and last year’s bank bailouts.
from Raw Japan:
It's official: Japan's economy shrivelled at a record pace in the first quarter.
Needless to say the 4.0 percent contraction in GDP (an annual rate of 15.2 percent, if you speak American) from January to March was not pretty -- especially when you see that the pain has spread from Japan's big autos and tech factories to the broader economy.