Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman will next week report one of the worst quarters of sales growth in his five-year tenure amid a slowdown in emerging markets. Making matters worse is that an expected recovery in the U.S., his single largest market, has failed to materialize.
Claims for U.S. jobless benefits jumped last week to the highest level in six months, providing the first statistical warning that the damage from the partial federal shutdown is starting to ripple through the economy.
A U.S. government default would “almost surely” derail the nation’s economic recovery and lead to potentially major market disruptions worldwide, said Olivier Blanchard, chief economist of the International Monetary Fund.
The International Monetary Fund cut its global outlook for this year and next as capital outflows further weaken emerging markets and warned that a U.S. government default could “seriously damage” the world economy.
Countries should observe “speed limits” and avoid narrowing fiscal deficits too quickly, even when they face pressure from investors justifying a large debt reduction, according to International Monetary Fund staff.
Folks who have a vivid recollection of the Great Inflation of the 1970s must wonder why anyone would wish even a trace of that upon future generations. Yet that seems to be the risk some economists are willing to take.