This year may see the Chinese economy crash and Germany sliding into recession. Right now there are not too many bright spots (the American-led shale gas revolution is one) in the global economy:
A looming hard landing in China will bring the financial and economic crisis of the past five years to a climax in 2012, one of the City of London's leading analysts has warned.
Albert Edwards, head of strategy at Société Générale and one of the UK's leading "bears", said the next 12 months would be the "final year of pain and disappointment".
Predicting a sharp slowdown in activity in the world's fastest-growing emerging economy, Edwards said: "There is a likelihood of a China hard landing this year. It is hard to think 2013 and onwards will be any worse than this year if China hard-lands."
Edwards's view was supported by the historian Edward Chancellor, who said China's recent economic performance conformed to the pattern of previous manias and bubbles in history. These included an uncritically assumed growth story, easy money and credit expansion, investment booms and the misallocation of capital, and conspicuous consumption.
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And China´s hard landing will soon start hurting the German economy. There are already fears about a recession later this year:
The German economy grew strongly last year, despite the European debt crisis. Gross domestic product jumped by 3 percent, while the national deficit sank, the Federal Statistical Office reported on Wednesday. But experts warn that, given the slight contraction in the final quarter of last year, Germany could enter a recession in 2012.
And with Europe´s economic engine running out of steam the last hope for a solution to the eurozone crisis is quickly disappearing ....