Monday, July 14, 2008

The end of the great global economic boom - Jul. 14, 2008

The end of the great global economic boom - Jul. 14, 2008: "But double-digit growth is also creating double-digit inflation. Americans whine about $4 gasoline and $5 Cheerios, but elsewhere in the world the reaction is much more serious. Truckers in South Korea, France, and Spain have blocked highways to protest high fuel prices, and angry Egyptians barricaded roads after a cut in flour subsidies. In India inflation rose to above 8% in May from below 4% last August. Chinese inflation was 7.7% in May, up from 1% in early 2006.

It's worse in the smaller markets: Inflation now exceeds 30% in Ukraine and Venezuela and 25% in Vietnam. This translates into some pretty jaw-dropping price increases: Rents are up 82% in Dubai in 12 months, and rice prices in India have nearly tripled since January. Such rapid inflation can stifle growing economies, and many analysts think the great global boom eventually will flame out - or at least dramatically slow.

And let's not forget that many of the countries experiencing strong growth today depend on exports to the U.S. to keep their economies humming; a slowdown in U.S. spending surely will have ripple effects in places like India, China, Vietnam, and Mexico.

The problem is how to fix it. Most experts believe that to break the back of double-digit inflation, central bankers have"


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