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A Tale of Two Theories

Global growth continues to disappoint, with the IMF once again downgrading its forecast for this year. Is "secular stagnation" the cause, or is the monetary stimulus being used to fight that stagnation to blame?

PARIS – Global growth disappoints again. A year ago, the International Monetary Fund expected world output to rise 4% in 2015. Now the Fund is forecasting 3.3% for the year – about the same as in 2013 and 2014, and more than a full percentage point below the 2000-2007 average.

In the eurozone, growth in the latest quarter was underwhelming. Japan has returned to negative territory. Brazil and Russia are in recession. World trade has stalled. And China’s economic slowdown and market turmoil this summer have created further uncertainty.

True, there are bright spots: India, Spain, and the United Kingdom are beating expectations. The United States’ recovery is solid. Africa is doing well. But, overall, it is hard to deny that the global economy lacks momentum.

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