Not An Item
The meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers over the weekend has provided yet more strong signals that the eurozone must sort out the current debt crisis which is having a marked affect on the global economy.
However, nothing of any substance has emerged from the meeting, except for a rise in global stocks following the strong words. The UK Chancellor George Osborne said that it was not until the summit of 23 October that he expected anything impressive towards the formulation of a comprehensive plan. US Treasury secretary Tim Geithner insisted that Europe had the financial resources to create a ‘firewall’ to prevent contagion and, although praise was given to the progress made so far, the failure to provide a comprehensive plan was criticised strongly.
With respect to the UK economy, Ernst & Young’s Item Club has adjusted its forecast, saying that uncertainty across the eurozone is undermining business confidence. It forecasts growth in the UK’s GDP to reach just 0.9%, well below the 1.4% that it forecast just three months ago.
Congratulations to France and New Zealand after their semi-final victories over the weekend in the Rugby World Cup. Next Saturday we shall see whether the host nation can topple France and claim the crown.