May 15, 2006


Emerging Nations Powering Global Economic Boom: The expansion is the strongest since the 1970s, with China, India and Russia setting the pace. But many U.S. workers are left behind. (Tom Petruno, May 14, 2006, Los Angeles Times)

The global economy is on a growth streak that is shaping up to be the broadest and strongest expansion in more than three decades.

Rising spending and investment by consumers and businesses worldwide are boosting national economies on every continent, pushing down unemployment rates in many countries and lifting business earnings and confidence.

Of 60 nations tracked by investment firm Bridgewater Associates, not one is in recession — the first time that has been true since 1969.

Yet this is a different kind of boom from any other in the post-World War II era, analysts say. The soaring economies of China, India, Russia, Brazil and other emerging nations increasingly are setting the pace, overshadowing the slower growth of the United States, Europe and Japan, where the benefits of the expansion have eluded many workers.

"This is the first recovery where developing economies are playing a dominant role," said James Paulsen, chief strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis, which manages money for big investors such as pension funds.

The trend is being driven by free trade, which has created millions of jobs in emerging nations in recent years, fueling stunning new wealth in those countries.

This is a story not only at odds with the facts--strong US GDP growth and low unemployment--but with itself--the jobs in those developing countries consist of doing the manufacturing and other work [answering phones] we're too wealthy to do ourselves. It does though demonstrate just how powerful the End of History remains -- forcing capitalism upon such a wide array of nations -- even at a time when folks want to dismiss it.

China lifts its currency - and US hopes: By setting the yuan higher, China makes its exports costlier, which could ease the US trade deficit (Mark Trumbull, 5/16/06, The Christian Science Monitor)

Chinese officials set a new currency target at slightly less than 8 yuan per dollar - a level it has not seen since a major devaluation in 1994, economists say. [...]

America and China have been serving as twin engines of the global economy, helping to fuel worldwide growth of 4 percent or higher for several years straight.

The Tax Cut Record: Americans are better off despite Democratic naysaying. (Opinion Journal, May 14, 2006)
Our late editor Bob Bartley used to say that critics might forgive you for being wrong, but they'll never forgive you for being right. That psychological insight may be the only way to explain the fierce and bitter opposition this week to extending the tax cuts of 2003 for another two years through 2010.

If ever there was a market test of economic policy, the last three years have been it. The stock market has recovered from its implosion in Bill Clinton's last year in office, unemployment is down to 4.7%, and growth has averaged 3.9% in the three years since those tax cuts passed--well above the post-World War II average and more than twice the growth rate in Euroland.

Realistically, the United States should be counted with the emerging economies, not the European.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 15, 2006 1:01 PM

"The soaring economies of China, India, Russia, Brazil and other emerging nations increasingly are setting the pace, overshadowing the slower growth of the United States, Europe and Japan..."

And with the utterly inane comparison of the "slow growth" of the US with Europe & Japan, it is officially OK to stop reading, as the writer has proven he doesn't know a thing about economics.

Posted by: b at May 15, 2006 1:34 PM