Marcus Noland and Stephen Haggard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics have been studying North Korea's economy for a book tentatively titled "Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the North Korea Problem". Their research appears to have revealed something unusual — North Korea, despite being an economic basket-case, may be running a trade surplus. If that's true, sanctions may well a losing tactic for the international community.
The big story in today’s GDP numbers is that companies’ inability or unwillingness to invest has hit a record level. Non-financial firms’ financial balance - the gap between retained profits and investment - reached £26bn, or 7.4% of GDP, in Q4. This was by far the largest since current records began in 1987.
The Chancellor said the “rainy day” measure, requiring Britain to generate more in revenues and tax yields than it spends, would act as “insurance against difficult times ahead”.
“Provided the recovery is sustained, our goal is to achieve that surplus in the next Parliament,” he added.
By Marc Chandler:This Great Graphic was tweeted by Mark Yusko, which he got from Credit Suisse Research, who drew on Thomson Reuters data. It shows the current account balance of the four main European peripheral countries on a 12-month rolling basis over the last several years.
VICTORIA — British Columbia’s Liberal government tabled a balanced budget Tuesday, delivering a fiscal blueprint that forecasts three years of surpluses and introduces plans to levy a two-tiered income tax on a liquefied natural gas industry that is years away from earning taxable revenues.
The congressional Republican goal of balancing the budget in 10 years seems a solution in search of a problem. Proponents seem more focused on the politics and optics of the idea than the economics. The 10-year goal supposedly provides a) sharp contrast to President Obama’s apathy toward the issue and b) clear and simple policy for dispirited GOPers to rally around.