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Counting the Cost
What a turnaround ...
It looks like many countries got ahead of themselves when talking about an 'economic recovery'.
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2010 08:09 GMT



It strikes me, and to be honest it struck me at the time, that a lot of countries got ahead of themselves when they started talking about an"economic recovery".
 
Now things were bad in 2009, so any improvement was going to look like positive news. But to consider that to be the beginnings of an economic recovery, produced largely on the back of some fiscal stiumlus? Well, that's the gun-jumping for me. 
 
Maybe they wanted to reassure people that things were getting and would continue to get better.  Or maybe they genuinely believed that the so-called 'green shoots were the start of something.  Either way, I think it was too much, too soon.
 
Backing this up for me is a report I'm looking at just now from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It's a twice-yearly economic outlook report, and what it shows is that the projections for the next two years are not far different from how things are now. In other words, growing, slowly, but stuttering too.
 
The big theme coming out of the report is that fiscal stimulus is wearing off and countries are now having to reveal themselves more honestly. Stimulus does work, but for some it's like wallpapering over the cracks. Rather than truly stimulating, it just hides a poor underlying economy which - once the stimulus ends - hasn't really improved that much.
 
So we'll take a look at that report, along with all the news out of Europe... Greece and Ireland took centre stage this week... and on the flip side, the news of a coming royal wedding in the UK. Some say it's just the tonic for an austere nation... but boy, is it going to cost! We'll look at some of the numbers and projections coming out of the UK ahead of William and Kate's wedding - whenever that might end up being!
 
And one more thing. NEXT week is our one-year Dubai special. I think I told you about it a few weeks back... we're going back, one year after the Dubai World debt meltdown, to see if things have improved. My initial feeling after a quick break there this week is that things haven't really picked up.  Put it this way - Dubai used to have 25 per cent of the world's construction cranes... it sure doesn't now. That's only based on me looking at the skyline while I was there - not at all scientific, but I reckon pretty accurate.
 
Anyway, that's next week. See you for THIS week's first-run at 1430GMT on Friday.

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2130; Saturday: 0300, 1230; Sunday: 0630, 1930; Monday: 0030, 0730.

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