With Japan's public debt about to hit 240% of GDP, Fitch Downgrades Japan's Sovereign Rating
The ratings agency Fitch on Tuesday lowered its assessment of Japan’s sovereign credit to A+, an investment grade just above the likes of Spain and Italy, and criticized Tokyo for not doing more to pare down its burgeoning debt.
BEIJING — China’s factory output growth was surprisingly feeble in April and fixed-asset investment slowed, rekindling concerns that a nascent recovery is stalling and adding to pressure on policymakers to take action to stimulate the economy.
However, China’s already-easy monetary policy and rising home prices complicate the options available to Beijing’s new leadership, leading some analysts to say that any response could be limited to fiscal measures.
WASHINGTON — Just as the global economy has all but recovered from debt-fueled crises in the United States and Europe, economists have a new worry: China. They see a lending bubble there that threatens global growth unless Beijing defuses it.
That’s the view that emerges from an Associated Press survey this month of 30 economists. Still, the economists remain optimistic that Beijing’s high-stakes drive to reform its economy — the world’s second-largest — will bolster Chinese banks, ease the lending bubble and benefit U.S. exporters in the long run.
Canada struggled in 2013, with its economy lagging the U.S. and Canadian stock returns being among the worst in the developed world. On Monday, the National Post, in partnership with the Canadian Club of Toronto, held its 37th Annual Outlook luncheon to discuss what’s in store for Canada and the global economy in 2014. Some 550 attendees came out to hear a panel that included four senior columnists and editors of the National Post and the Financial Post and Warren Jestin, senior vice president and chief economist of Scotiabank.
A month ago we pointed out that even as the Chinese credit bubble - at a record 240% of GDP on a consolidated basis - is now clearly out of control, the far more disturbing aspect of China's credit-fueled economy is the ever declining boost to economic growth as a result of every incremental dollar created.
And some unanswered questions. From Jeffry Frieden, "A Classic Foreign Debt Crisis," The Political Economist 12 (2) (Fall 2010) [newsletter of the Political Economy section of APSA, not online]:
Much of the popular, and scholarly,
analysis of the crisis has focused
on its financial aspects: the breakdown
of financial markets, the malfunction
of financial innovations, the failure of
financial regulation. ...
... This attention is