Great Graphic: G7 GDP Then and Now

This Great Graphic was on Reuters.  It shows cumulative GDP growth for G7 countries over two five-year periods.  The first covers the five-year period through the end of 2007.  The second period covers the most recent five-year period. 

Most countries have seen slower growth this side of the crisis.  Italy has is the only G7 economy to have contracted over the past five years.  Canadian growth has largely been the same, a little above 13% over both periods.  Germany is also an exception in that growth over the past five years has been stronger than the five-year period through the end 2007 (10.4% vs 9.1%).

The biggest slowdown has been experienced in the UK.  In the five years through the end of 2007, the UK economy expanded by a cumulative 17.2%.  Over the last five years, the pace has been more than halved to 8%.  The slowdown of the US is notable.  In the five years prior to the crisis, it expanded by 15.6%, but in the most recent five-year period it has grown by 11.4%. 

Although many bemoan the sluggishness of the US economy, the pace of growth in the recent period is greater than Italy, France, Japan and Germany experienced in the five-year period before the crisis.  There are many metrics for growth, and the appropriateness of any one measure demands on the question one is asking.  

One of the important macro themes offered this year was from Lawrence Summers, who revived the older "secular stagnation" hypothesis.  These aggregate growth numbers do not seem to speak to stagnation in Canada, the US or Germany.    We cannot help but see a striking parallel between Summers' "secular stagnation" and Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of Great Powers.  

When Kennedy's book came out in 1987, many people thought his work was a cautionary tale to the US.  Similarly, Summers has focused his "secular stagnation" on the US.  Yet it seems that Kennedy's thesis was more applicable to the Soviet Union.  Arguably to the extent that secular stagnation is a valid concept, perhaps it applies more to part of Europe. 

Great Graphic: G7 GDP Then and Now Great Graphic:   G7 GDP Then and Now Reviewed by Marc Chandler on September 22, 2014 Rating: 5
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