02-09-2017, 05:51 PM
from around Alexandria
from around Alexandria
9 February 2017
Alexandrian Economy Still Has Room to Grow
GENEVA, ICG; ABC NEWS – Economic data from 2016 shows that Alexandria’s economy lost momentum in the final months of 2016, closing out a year where GDP growth was 2.6 percent. This was slightly down from economists’ consensus of 2.7 percent.
It is, however, in keeping with the typical GDP increase of in recent years. Economists and analysts said the initial projection would still be generally considered as too slow. The country still is recovering from the economic turmoil of the economic downturn in 2008. Though still an improvement from 2015, unemployment holds at 5 percent, and productivity (output per hour) has slowed to 1.0 percent.
The Alexandrian economic expansion in 2005 - 2008 lasted three years, during which productivity grew 2.8 percent per year. If productivity growth had been just as fast in the current expansion as in previous economic expansions, real GDP growth would have been averaging around 3.7 percent per year, not 2.7 percent.
Analysts tie the slower growth to a slower expansion in the labor force due to higher levels of retiring workers and the end of the shift of women into the paid job market. GDP may also have been held back by a jump in the trade deficit. A strong écu (IE, €) sent exports tumbling and encouraged Alexandrian businesses to import cheaper components from abroad. The previously booming sectors of construction and defense also saw much slower growth through the end of 2016.
With a labor market that some economists say is at – or close to – full employment, the outlook for the economy remains bright, say some analysts.
Wages are rising, housing construction is robust and banks are well placed to increase lending. Modest increases in infrastructure spending has helped keep GDP up. Repatriation of factories by some of the biggest companies in Alexandria are also expected to give the economy a rush of activity.
Jean Jaurés, chief economist at Edgardia Macroeconomics in Valenciennes, noted that the change in foreign trade key subtracted substantially from GDP growth. He attributed that to a reversal of most of the third quarter’s increase in food exports, and said he expected the situation to improve in 2017’s first quarter.
Veronica Willis, investment strategy analyst for the NorBank Investment Education Foundation, projected that GDP would come in at 3.1 percent this year, “driven by strong consumer spending, improving business investment, and inventory expansion.”
The economy’s worsening trade position was offset by increases in consumer spending and business investment that analysts said could be counted to fuel growth into 2017.
The slowdown, even if it proves temporary, could also deter the Bank of Alexandria from raising interest rates until the picture becomes more certain.
Dr. Barbara Weir, a senior professor of macroeconomics at the Imperial University, believes that due to the massive leaps in technological progress and implementation made by humanity between 1870 and 1970: incandescent light bulbs, automobiles, central heating, refrigerators, the germ theory of disease, window screens, radios, telephones, television, air conditioners, airplanes, sewer systems, and indoor plumbing. “Those kinds of achievements, directly addressing problems humans have wanted to address since the beginning of time, simply can’t be duplicated again, and so we’re simply going to have to learn to live with slower economic growth,” says Dr. Weir. “What the government needs to do is focus on redistributing income to lower earners.”
There are many others who would dispute Dr. Weir’s analysis. Dr. Milton Jasper, an economist and former independent Deputy of the Assembly, contends that no one can doubt the transformative nature of the advances achieved in these past centuries. He argues: “Pretending that we can know the future path of technological advances is the kind of hubris that is at the heart of central planning. Any slowdown in progress is due to the larger size of government, which puts politicians in charge of shifting resources around according to political expediency rather than letting those resources find their most efficient use.”
Nancy Curtin, chief investment officer at Credit Financiere, found a third way between Dr. Weir and Dr. Jasper: “if an expansionary policy is implemented, including increased infrastructure spending and highly pro-business policies, it should stimulate further growth in GDP.” Curtin said that the impact of the rejection of the SANE Treaty, which had free trade agreements with those nations, is yet to be calculated. “The Coalition Government survived the election and right from the gate, saw a key global trade agreement defeated. That might send the wrong signal to other countries and to business. But it will be a while before we start to see the true impact. There’s still time to do what needs to be done to get stronger growth.”
Quote:SANE Treaty Defeat Leaves Government Mute
GENEVA, ICG; ABC NEWS -- The SANE treaty, the proposed alliance between Alexandria, Shireroth and Natopia, fell unexpectedly in the Assembly after members of the Liberals and UMD, led by former first Consul Antonio Marcus Verini and current consul Paco Baez, broke the party line and joined the Socialists in opposing the treaty.
Since then the Government has been completely silent on the treaty nor has it given any inclination on what it intends to do with its relations with its – at least until the Assembly vote – closest partners and friends.
Newly installed socialist leader, Nicolette Marchand, said: ”It is immoral for Alexandria to reward human rights violations take place in Shireroth”, referring to the act of ratifying the treaty. “If Shireroth takes significant steps to improve the conditions in their country and respect their citizens more, then I will be the one leading to efforts initiate a strong partnership and a trade agreement that,” she continued, warning against giving the Shirerithian government credibility on the international scene.
Since then, the Shirerithians have installed a new kaiseress, Noor, daughter-in-law to Alexandria’s Prince Harald, who, in her speech to the Shirerithian legislature when accepting the throne upon the eve of her election, said: “We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against radical Khanist and Siseranist terrorism, the both of which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth”.
Kaiseress Noor she is known to to be well-versed on all matters Alexandrians, and spent several months in Alexandria in her early twenties. So far, however, neither she nor the Shirerithian government have made any comment on the decision of the Alexandrian assembly not to ratify the proposed alliance between Alexandrian, Natopia, and Shireroth.