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IMF Tells Ireland No More Austerity Next Year

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In October the IMF admitted that its Fiscal Multiplier(is not 0.5 percent but really 0.9-1.7) used for justifying austerity measures was wrong and in fact the implication was that austerity doesn’t work. Now shortly after Ireland announced the 2013 budget, the IMF has asked that Ireland does not implement austerity measure next year. It was worried that Irelands growth which is already weaker than forecast may hinder its ability to re-enter the bond markets.

IRELAND should not impose further austerity even if growth targets are missed next year, the IMF has said.

The agency also called on Europe to honour pledges to help make Ireland’s debt more sustainable, in its latest review of the country’s finances.

It outlined fears that growth may be weaker than expected during 2013 – but does not advocate more austerity.

Instead it advises the coalition that if it is failing to reach economic targets next year, it should not rush to bring in any further cutbacks, for fear of damaging any fragile growth. Instead the economic targets could be pushed out until 2015 to help recovery.

The IMF made the statement as it approved its eighth review of the bailout programme, authorising the release of a further €890m funding under the bailout terms.

It said Ireland had so far shown “steadfast policy implementation” with the conditions of the bailout programme, despite slower growth this year.

It is predicting more gradual economic recovery with growth of 1.1pc in 2013 and 2.2pc in 2014. But with many economists forecasting growth of less than 1pc in 2013, there is a real threat to Ireland’s chances of getting out of bailout and back to the markets as planned in 2014.

The IMF says that if growth is weaker than forecast and economic targets begin to slip, the Government should not introduce extra cuts or a mini-Budget. Instead the Government should wait until 2015 before taking extra measures, in order to protect whatever growth there is.

IMF deputy managing director David Lipton said: “The program with Ireland has now been in place for two years and the Irish authorities have consistently maintained strong policy implementation.

“The authorities have demonstrated their commitment to put Ireland’s fiscal position on a sound footing, with the 2012 deficit target expected to be met even though growth has been low.

“Nonetheless, if next year’s growth were to disappoint, any additional fiscal consolidation should be deferred to 2015 to protect the recovery.

“Continued strong Irish policy implementation is essential for the programme’s success,” said Mr Lipton.

In what may be a reference to the ongoing negotiations on repayment of Anglo Irish debt, Mr Lipton called on European partners to deliver on pledges to help Ireland.

“Ireland’s market access would also be greatly enhanced by forceful delivery of European pledges to improve programme sustainability, especially by breaking the vicious circle between the Irish sovereign and the banks.”

The IMF also said that the banking sector needs to be reformed and shored up to help improve lending. “Vigorous implementation of financial sector reforms is needed to revive sound bank lending in support of economic growth,” it said.

Source: Irish Independent

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German Growth Rate For 2013 Drops Massively

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The Bundesbank massively cut its growth forecasts for 2013 for the German economy from previous estimate of 1.6% down to 0.4%. Such a huge drop in growth forecast shows even the mighty German economy which has benefited from a weak euro is now feeling the pressure. Its the last thing Merkel needs as she faces an election next year with a weakened economy and a growing bill for bailing out the rest of Europe. Couple that with the TARGET2 imbalance and a strong possibility of Italy or Spain needing a bailout, she could be facing an angry electorate.

germanThe German economy could slam into reverse this winter as the crisis in the eurozone intensifies, the country’s central bank warned yesterday.

The Bundesbank slashed its growth forecasts in an abrupt reversal for Europe’s powerhouse economy. It now expects Germany to grow by 0.7 per cent this year and just 0.4 per cent next year.

It was previously expecting growth of 1 per cent in 2012 and 1.6 per cent in 2013.

But the Bundesbank added that there was a risk of recession – defined as two quarters of contraction in a row – this winter. ‘There are indications that economic activity may fall in the final quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013,’ it said. Germany has been the key driver of an otherwise moribund eurozone.

Experts warned the country’s slump is ‘a big reality check’ and casts doubt over the future of the single currency. Any setback in the eurozone, Britain’s major trading partner, raises the risk of a new recession here. The Bundesbank blamed the crisis crippling the eurozone for the downturn amid signs that German patience with struggling economies such as Greece and Spain is wearing thin. ‘Germany cannot prosper alone,’ it said. ‘It has a particular interest in the welfare of its partners.’

The gloomy analysis came a day after the European Central Bank warned that the 17-nation eurozone will remain mired in recession until late next year. ECB president Mario Draghi said a ‘gradual recovery’ will not start until ‘later in 2013’ as the region lurches from one crisis to the next. The eurozone sank back into recession over the summer as the malaise in peripheral states spread to Germany and France.

The German government put on a brave face in response to the Bundesbank forecast. A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said: ‘The government is cautiously optimistic that we’ll keep growing.’

Source: Daily Mail

 

 

Bogus U.S. Recovery

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So you thought things were getting better in the US? A hard-hitting lesson from Paul Craig Roberts explains that it’s quite the contrary as the US Government use a method of rigged inflation figures to manipulate the data. Last week the US Bureau of Economic Analysis announced its advance estimate that in the last quarter of 2011 the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.8% in real inflation-adjusted terms, an increase from the annual rate of growth in the third quarter.

What the presstitute media did not tell us is that almost the entire gain In GDP growth was due to “involuntary inventory build-up,” that is, more goods were produced than were sold.

Net of the unsold goods, the annualized real growth rate was eight-tenths of one percent.

And even that tiny growth rate is an exaggeration, because it is deflated with a measure of inflation that understates inflation. The US government’s measure of inflation no longer measures a constant standard of living. Instead, the government’s inflation measure relies on substitution of cheaper goods for those that rise in price. In other words, the government holds the measure of inflation down by measuring a declining standard of living. This permits our rulers to divert cost-of-living-adjustments that should be paid to Social Security recipients to wars of aggression, police state, and banker bailouts.

When the methodology that measures a constant standard of living is used to deflate nominal GDP, the result is a shrinking US economy. It becomes clear that the US economy has had no recovery and has now been in deep recession for four years despite the proclamation by the National Bureau of Economic Research of a recovery based on the rigged official numbers.

The government has given the appearance of growth by manipulating the inflation figures. Checkout John Williams’s ShadowStats website for more info on the real inflation figures.

For example, according to the government’s own data, payroll employment in December 2011 is less than in 2001. Meanwhile, there has been a decade of population growth. The presstitute media calls the alleged economic recovery a “jobless recovery,” which is a contradiction in terms. There can be no recovery without a growth in employment and consumer income.

Real average weekly earnings (deflated by the government’s CPI-W) have never recovered their 1973 peak. Real median household income (deflated by the government’s CPI-U) has not recovered its 2001 peak and is below the 1969 level. If earnings were deflated by the original methodology instead of by the new substitution-based methodology, the picture would be bleaker.

Consumer confidence shows no recovery and is far below the level of a decade ago.
How does an economy recover without a recovery in consumer confidence?

Housing starts have remained flat since 2009 and are below their previous peak.

Retail sales are below the index level of January 2000.

Industrial production remains below the index level of January 2000.

To repeat, the only indicator of economic recovery is the GDP deflated with an understated measure of inflation.

When you pull back the veil, the US economy reveals the real reason for growth over the past few decades, rather like the Wizard being exposed in the “Wizard of Oz”.

The Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan compensated for the absence of US consumer income growth with a policy of easy credit and a policy of driving up home prices with low interest rates. This policy allowed people to refinance their homes and to spend the inflated equity in their homes that Greenspan’s policy created.

In other words, an increase in consumer indebtedness and dissavings drove the economy in the place of the missing growth in consumer incomes.

Today, consumers are too indebted to borrow, and banks are too insolvent to lend. Therefore, there is no possibility of further debt expansion as a substitute for real income growth. An offshored economy is a dead and exhausted economy.

 

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