It seems things are as bad as they've been in recent memory. Except that if you look beyond temporal market fluctuations to how the real global economy is doing, things have never been better. For the past four years, the world has grown at a 5.2 percent annual rate—a full 2 percentage points higher than in the '80s and '90s—thanks in large part to booming emerging markets. While the United States and many parts of Europe are lagging, most of the rest of the planet is soaring. Consider that between 1980 and 2000, the number of countries growing at 5 percent or more hovered around 50. In 2006, 104 nations grew at that rate. When asked to think of a few countries besides China and India that have shown strong growth, World Bank economist Andrew Burns replies: "It's hard to think of somebody who hasn't." In fact, this year the economies of only three countries—Zimbabwe, Fiji and Tonga—are contracting. Two are highly isolated archipelagoes and the former is a hugely dysfunctional dictatorship. Harvard's Ken Rogoff, a former chief economist at the IMF, sums it up simply: "We're in a boom."
Who knew? The ranks of fast growers go way beyond the usual suspects. Cambodia, still recovering from a generation of genocide, civil war and political turmoil, is completing its ninth straight year of growth above 6 percent (one of 27 such countries on a similar streak). Slovakia, which got mostly jobless masses and entrenched communists when it was severed from Czechoslovakia in 1992, hit 9 percent growth in 2007. Unemployment—a formerly intractable problem for this nation of 5 million—has plunged to record lows, thanks to tax and business reforms that have made the country an export dynamo. Turkey is another pleasant surprise. Growth has averaged 6.9 percent for six years, despite a restive Kurdish population and a war raging just beyond its 331-kilometer border with Iraq. The tide is lifting even the long-moored boats of Africa, where growth has topped 5 percent since 2004, driven by oil states but also by expanding agricultural economies like Tanzania. This broad boom is reflected in emerging-market stock indexes, up 40 percent this year, versus a measly 5 percent for the S&P 500...
lunes, diciembre 24, 2007
Tras el bleak picture de Krugman, una mirada más optimista sobre la economía mundial (de todos los datos, el que más me impresiona es que hay 27 países con al menos 9 años de crecimiento arriba de 6%):