Saturday, 16 October 2010

Economic reality check!

According to Paul Krugman, Op-Ed columnist at the New York Times and Nobel Economic Prize winner, the US economy is going through its worst crisis since the 1930s. And there's little chance of it ending very soon. The Obama stimulus has not succeeded in restoring full employment. There's been a lot of talk but insufficient investment.

The immediate problem is that people don't want to spend. While on an individual basis this might be seen to be a good thing, on a collective basis it can have a bad impact. There's inadequate demand even though there's no problem with supply.

To compensate there's a lot of talk about looking to exports for growth. But Paul remains sceptical. "Who is going to be the customer for this export boom?" he asks. The US, Japan and Europe are all in the same position. Export growth cannot be open to all.

In his view the US's best hope is for "major innovation on the part of the business sector which gets people reinvesting in new equipment."

No wonder 'innovation' featured heavily in most of the business presentations at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) conference. And 'growth' was the major topic of the day.

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