SHOCK REPORT: USA ON VERGE OF ECONOMIC CRISIS - 1 December, 2000

A recent report released in Washington states that specialists consider that the United States of America will suffer an economic slow-down and may even enter into recession in the near future. “After all, Al Gore may yet give thanks to God that he did not manage to be President”, said economist Mark Weisbrot, Centre for Economical and Political Investigation, Washington DC. The various sources which pronounced themselves on the question of the short-term economic scenario in the USA were unanimous in stating that the years of prosperity and economic growth are showing signs that the high levels reached in recent years will diminish or disappear. For 2001, it is forecast that the GDP should decrease from 5.0 % to 3.3 %. David Levy, an economist who works at an economic investigation institute in New York, stated that “there is a 70% chance that recession will set in next year”. Another economist from Hosington investment company, Lacy Hunt, stated that the probability of recession in 2001 is 50%. A scenario of recession will mean that the new president (whoever that is) will have added political problems, (apart from the fact that half of his country did not vote for him, or more than half if the president is Bush), namely the difficulty in fulfilling election promises to reduce the tax burden on US citizens, a promise so often used during the election campaign. This may give rise to a period of great political and economic instability inside the USA, forcing an unprecedented introspection as Europe pulls together faster and faster.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Pravda.Ru Lisbon