Bloomberg | March 29, 2010 | 10:44 EDT
The strengthening US. economy, subdued inflation and rising stock prices are propelling the dollar rally into its fifth month as traders seek refuge from Europe’s fiscal crisis and Japanese deflation. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. ended bets on a falling dollar last week after the trades lost 2.8 percent. Strategists are raising greenback forecasts at the fastest pace since last March, just before US stimulus efforts that poured as much as $12.8 trillion into the economy ended the currency’s strongest rally in 28 years. Median predictions for the dollar against 47 currencies tracked in Bloomberg surveys rose an average of 1.4 percentage points in the month to March 24. A year after correctly predicting the currency’s decline and likening it to the fall of Rome, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s Alan Ruskin said it may soar 22 percent to $1.10 per euro if Greece defaults.
“We’ve moved away from the worst fears,” said Ruskin, the head of currency strategy for RBS Capital Markets in Stamford, Connecticut. “In the US, the economy picked itself up off the ground,” he said in an interview. “Compared to what it might have looked like from the view of March 2009, March 2010 looks very good.” The US Labor Department will report on April 2 that 190,000 jobs were created this month, the most in three years, according to the median estimate of 62 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has gained 5.6 percent in March, and the latest report on consumer prices showed the cost of living was unchanged in February, ensuring inflation won’t cut off the recovery.
Consumer prices in Japan, meanwhile, fell for a 12th month in February, the government reported March 26. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said the same day that the nation’s potential growth rate between 2011 and 2017 will be the lowest among Group of Seven at 0.9 percent. Leaders of the 16-nation euro region sought International Monetary Fund help to respond to Greece’s budget crisis. Portugal’s credit rating was cut one step by Fitch Ratings to AA- with a “negative”
From The Economist print edition | Dec 17th 2009
The recession was less calamitous than many feared. Its aftermath will be more dangerous than many expect
IT HAS become known as the “Great Recession,” the year in which the global economy suffered its deepest slump since the Second World War. But an equally apt name would be the “Great Stabilisation.” For 2009 was extraordinary not just for how output fell, but for how a catastrophe was averted.
Twelve months ago, the panic sown by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers had pushed financial markets close to collapse. Global economic activity, from industrial production to foreign trade, was falling faster than in the early 1930s. This time, though, the decline was stemmed within months. Big emerging economies accelerated first and fastest. China’s output, which stalled but never fell, was growing by an annualised rate of some 17% in the second quarter. By mid-year the world’s big, rich economies (with the exception of Britain and Spain) had started to expand again. Only a few laggards, such as Latvia and Ireland, are now likely still to be in recession.
There has been a lot of collateral damage. Average unemployment across the OECD is almost 9%. In America, where the recession began much earlier, the jobless rate has doubled to 10%. In some places, years of progress in poverty reduction have been undone as the poorest Continue reading