Friday, February 18, 2005

Germany and Japan

Here's an interesting article in the Economist:
The world’s second and third biggest economies both got a little smaller last quarter. Japan’s gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 0.5% in the final quarter of 2004, according to figures released on Wednesday February 16th. The numbers from Germany the day before were grimmer still. Its economy shrank at an annualised rate of 0.9% in the same period. Both economies started 2004 well, but failed to live up to the expectations they fleetingly raised.
It's understandable that Germany's economy went into the doldrums after unification over a decade ago. But, at this point, one must search for explanations as to why these once fast growing economies are now so sluggish.