Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finally, Some Halfway-Realistic Numbers

My apologies for the light posting of late. I've been swamped by several moves, a feeble attempt at buying real-estate, and am now deprived of of the free labor of my recently departed in-laws as I pointed out before. I must also admit that the blog just hasn't been doing it for me these past weeks either. Is it the phony-good economic news and rising markets? I don't know. Maybe when a few cities go up in flames or the Mexican swine flu kills a few hundred thousand people I'll come out of my writers' funk. In any event, in a surprise move some Germans have actually made a halfway reasonable attempt to get the numbers right:
Germany’s economy will shrink 6 percent this year in its worst performance since World War II and will stay in recession until at least mid-2010, the country’s leading economic institutes said.

A 23 percent decline in exports this year will delay recovery in Europe’s largest economy, pushing Germany’s jobless rate to 10.8 percent next year and lifting the budget deficit to nearly twice the European Union limit, the economic institutes said in a half-yearly forecast today.

That is the first official sounding report I've come across that is even remotely reasonable. It will probably be worse than that, yes, but at least it isn't the usual rainbows and unicorns. Sadly, they had to go and blow it with their recommended countermeasure:
The forecasters urged the European Central Bank to lower its benchmark rate to 0.5 percent from 1.25 percent and prodded Merkel’s government to focus on helping banks clear toxic assets from their balance sheets.
Yeah, that should do it. But I guess that since the central bank has a printing press, ergo the problem must be...

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