Great Graphic: European GDP

This Great Graphic comes from the Financial Times' Robin Wigglesworth, via Frances Coppola on Pragmatic Capitalism.  It depicts the economic performance of a number of European countries.  

Most stark is the depth of the Greek economic contraction (dark blue line).  There was much talk that one of the reasons that some of the creditors were reluctant to make any concessions to Greece was ideas that other debtors would expect the same.  However, the depth of the Greek downturn indicates that not all debtors are equal.  The implosion of Greece's GDP blows out measures that use GDP as a denominator, such as debt/GDP, pension spending/GDP, etc.  

Italy (red line) stands out as well.  While the other countries depicted here have shown some improvement, even Greece, Italy's economy appears to be stagnating in its trough.  Finland also appears to be stuck on its trough.  Despite lackluster performances by Finland and the Netherlands, both countries were aggressive toward Greece, and seemed to be sympathetic to a Greek exit, even though there is not basis in the treaties for its ejection. 

 Both Portugal and Spain have moved off their bottoms, but not very impressively.  Both hold national elections later this year.  Will the incumbents be punished for not delivering the economic goods?    Without stronger growth , will the debt burden become unbearable? 

Ireland also stands out (light green line).  It has seen a strong recovery over the last couple of years.  Unlike Greece, for example, Ireland has a significant export sector, which has been bolsters by foreign pharma and technology industries.  

Of these selected countries, only four have bigger economies now compared with pre-crisis output.  The UK (gray line) has edged above Germany (black line).  Belgium and France  also have greater output than in the past.  The French economy (blue line) has no momentum. 

Great Graphic: European GDP Great Graphic:  European GDP Reviewed by Marc Chandler on July 20, 2015 Rating: 5
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