In Europe, the crisis has grown worse, not better, and the disputes among European leaders have intensified as much of the Continent appears to have drifted into a new recession. In China, growth remains robust by Western standards. But concern is rising over the possible end of a property boom that had been fueled in part by local government borrowing and spending. In the United States, which had been an oasis of relative calm with a growing economy and rising employment, job growth in May, reported Friday, was a puny 69,000. To make the outlook even gloomier, earlier numbers were revised lower. That capped a series of three disappointing monthly reports.
Less than four years ago, with the world’s financial system in danger of collapsing, major countries managed to come together on a coordinated course that averted a global depression. Central banks pumped vast amounts of cash into economies, and banks were bailed out, with vows that they would be subject to stronger regulation. By early 2009, financial markets had bottomed out and begun strong recoveries. Economies were slower to follow; by last year, slow growth seemed to be the global pattern, spurring hope that the crisis had passed. But within the last few weeks, much of that hope seems to have faded. Moreover, there seems to be little willingness — or perhaps little ability — for the major countries to act together again.
By Floyd Norris, June 2, 2012 NYT
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