As the economic data became bleaker by the day at the start of 2009, the prospects for 2010 were similarly downgraded. The consensus for 2010 has now shifted to flat to negative growth, with the Economist forecasting 1.1 per cent drop in GDP.
The Bank of England Interest Rate, Inflation and the three month Treasury rate are expected to stay low at under 1 per cent, under 1 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.
The budget balance, however, is expected to grow dangerously to -13 per cent of GDP, which would take UK national public debt above 70 per cent of GDP, a dangerous level far about the Sustainable Investment Rate target of under 40 per cent, and bringing with it risks of both a sovereign debt downgrade (which would cause borrowing rates for the UK Treasury to go up and confidence to drop), and which will crowd out private businesses already facing grave troubles trying to raise capital for investment.
The economy off Ireland, driven by industry and exports, is one of the leading economies in Europe and an important economy in the world as well.
Traditionally an agriculture oriented economy, Ireland has now shifted course and is dominated by industry. The Industrial sector contributes a sizeable 46% of Irelands GDP. It also constitutes 80% of Ireland's exports and accounts for 29% of Irish employment.
The largest and still the most important market in the world, the USA economy is driven by consumers but is troubled by high debt levels. In common with most developed countries, Services is the key sector of the economy. In 2007, services made up 78.5% of GDP, industry 20.5% and agriculture less than 1%.
With the effects of
adverse external shocks diminishing, the German economy
is currently recovering, ending a couple of years in the
doldruma on the back of its traditionally strong,
competitive and innovative export-oriented manufacturing
However, there lies a vast potential, and the economy is far from operating at full strength. Poor labour market performance continues to weigh on consumer sentiment and business confidence remains volatile.
The UNDP 2004 report shows that 8.3 % of Germany's population lives below income poverty line (50% of median household income).
Weak rulers failed to counter British tactics and didnít understand the power of the mercantile system, for which Spain was well suited with its still formidable navy. It also didnít grasp the opportunity of the industrial revolution.
Spainís economy grew 3.8 per cent in 2007, with services making up 67 per cent of the economy, industry 30 per cent and agriculture 3 per cent., but it also has the largest trade deficit in the world in relative terms.
A further challenge is income generated by EU structural funds. Spain has been the major beneficiary of EU funds used to help poorer economies upgrade themselves, but as those funds are being re-allocated, there will be a painful re-adjustment process needed.