The following countries have just had two quarters of negative GDP growth in 4Q 2011 and 1Q 2012, for their second round of recession since 2007:
United Kingdom, Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Slovenia, Denmark, the Czech Republic.
In Germany, GDP shrank in the fourth quarter of 2011, and retail sales figures (just released) show a decline of 1% in the 1st quarter of 2012, which makes it likely Germany too will report a 2nd quarter of decline. Only France, with a positive GDP growth rate of an anemic 0.7% in Q4 2011, and Sweden with a 1.1% 4Q 2011 growth rate, are safe from recession.
So with Europe in full-blown double-dip recession, growth in the US slowing back to the 2% range, and China slowing sharply, who is going to pull the world economy forward? How much longer must we wait for austerity policies to deliver their magic before leaders realize this policy isnotworking to restore growth?