Friday, November 16, 2012

The European Domino


Yesterday, EuroStat, the European Union’s statistics office, released their Q3 2012 read on the 17-nation combine GDP showing a quarter-to-quarter decline of 0.1%, tipping the group squarely (though possibly temporarily due to future revisions) into recession, as economic conditions worsened and continued from the prior quarter’s -0.2% reading.

While recession for Europe is no surprise, given all the attention that has been directed to the crisis economies of Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal and the broader weakness elsewhere in the European Union, it should also be clear that the U.S. faces nearly identical prospects as the burdens of government overreach take their toll on macroeconomic conditions.

Further, while the U.S. generally prides itself on having more robust economic conditions than Europe, comparing the quarterly growth rates, one can easily see that for over a decade now, our economic conditions have, more or less, trended together.

So this begs the question, how long can the U.S. expect to buck the trend?

Unless you expect notable improvement in future quarters, it would appear that the European Union’s poor conditions are just another harbinger of larger global underperformance that could crush the U.S.’s tepid recovery.

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