News Column

U.S. Economy Fares Worst Among G7 Nations

June 24, 2014

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) How badly did the U.S. economy fare during the first three months of the year? Worse than any of the other high-income economies in the Group of 7 nations.

Battered by a brutal winter, the economy shrank at an estimated 1 percent annual pace from January through March and the government will likely downgrade that figure Wednesday.

Here's a best-to-worst roundup of first-quarter economic growth for the G-7 countries plus China:

JAPAN

A 6.7 percent annual gain from January through March, thanks to "Abenomics" Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's program of aggressive government spending and easy-money policies from the Bank of Japan. Still, economists doubt that the breakneck pace is sustainable, especially after Japan raised its sales tax in April.

CHINA

A 5.7 percent annual increase from January through March, well below China's double-digit growth of a few years ago. The slowdown in part reflects a government policy to shift away from growth dependent on exports and investments in factories, real estate and infrastructure and toward slower, steadier growth based on spending by Chinese consumers.

GERMANY

A 3.3 percent annual rise in the first three months of the year on strong consumer spending and business investment.

BRITAIN

A 3.3 percent annual gain, boosted by a recovery in construction spending.

CANADA

A 1.2 percent annual increase, the slowest growth since the end of 2012, on weaker business investment and government cutbacks.

FRANCE

A 0.1 percent annual gain, with consumer spending and business investment slowing.

ITALY

A 0.5 percent annual drop as Italian consumers and businesses continued to struggle in the wake of a recession in the eurozone the 18 countries that use the euro currency.

UNITED STATES

A 1 percent annual decline as a frigid and icy winter kept consumers indoors and businesses let their inventories dwindle.

Sources: FactSet, IHS Global Insight, U.S. Commerce Department.

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Original headline: Growth of key high-income economies, at a glance


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