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February 24, 2012

The State of Global Economies in 2012 : Infographic

IN 2008 banks were saved by governments. The question that dominated 2011 was how to save governments. The euro-area sovereign-debt crisis metastasised from a problem affecting small, peripheral states to one that threatens the single currency itself. The rise in Italian bond yields in particular marked a dangerous new stage in the saga (chart 1). European banks, stuffed full of government bonds, have suffered a severe funding squeeze since the summer (chart 2). The euro was oddly resilient against the dollar, but Switzerland and Japan intervened to hold down their currencies as investors sought shelter (chart 3).
Faced with skittish creditors, countries in Europe tried to instil confidence by cutting spending (chart 4). Austerity and growth do not mix, however. Euro-area GDP remains below its pre-crisis level. American output did at least regain that mark in 2011 (chart 5) but US unemployment remained very high.
source : Eeconomist