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ASIA

What they're saying: "China was able to stimulate demand through their fiscal policy. … They have the ability to spend domestically." - Benjamin Reitzes, economist, BMO Nesbitt Burns

Key number: Singapore's projected annual GDP growth is now 13 per cent, revised upward after second-quarter GDP grew 19 per cent, year-over-year.

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The Asia story is all about China. Because China had a stable balance sheet going into the downturn, it was able to pump money into the economy and continue importing from surrounding countries. On Wednesday, Singapore announced sky-high second-quarter real GDP growth numbers, shifting its annual GDP growth forecast to 13 per cent. Meanwhile, Australia has a low 5.1 per cent unemployment rate. Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan have also all raised their benchmark interest rates in recent weeks.



EUROPE

What they're saying: "The second quarter is going to see some growth, but the outlook afterwards is still very dim." Krishen Rangasamy, economist, CIBC World Markets

Key number: Euro zone industrial production grew 0.9 per cent in May, the third straight month of gains.

The European economy remains a mixed bag. Although Germany and Italy saw strong demand in recent bond auctions, Spain recently borrowed €126-billion from the European Central Bank because it can't raise money in public markets. In the U.K., jobless claims are at their lowest since June, 2009, and budget cutbacks are worrisome.



U.S.

What they're saying: "Financial conditions have become less supportive of economic growth on balance, largely reflecting developments abroad." - Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, released Wednesday

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Key number: Trade deficit widened to $42.3-billion (U.S.) in May, after imports grew more than rising exports.

Corporate earnings may come in strong this quarter, but the underlying economy is still shaky. The trade deficit widened in May, but both imports and exports increased, meaning trade volume is up. The U.S. isn't creating jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 9.5 per cent as people leave the work force in frustration. The situation is scary enough that the Fed made mention of a second stimulus when the FOMC met last month.

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About the Author
Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More

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