Saturday, 19 December, 2009

But for the results, it’s a great success

In an article titled Victory in the cold war was a start as well as an ending in Tuesday's FT, Martin Wolf comments on the mixed blessings of the Cold War 'victory'. But the most interesting thing in the article was the graphs below (picked without permission from FT):

A little guessing about the estimated figures (not quite clear from the graph) and back-calculation show up the following figures:

Country

Estimated real GDP

in 2010 (1990 = 100)

Growth rate

Poland

200

3.53%

Czech Republic

165

2.54%

Slovak Republic

140

1.70%

Hungary

140

1.70%

Lithuania

140

1.70%

Estonia

100

0.00%

Latvia

100

0.00%

Russia

125

1.12%

Ukraine

105

0.24%

Romania

95

-0.26%

Bulgaria

65

-2.13%

According to Wolf, Poland is the star of this group. If the star's performance is 3½%, one must wonder what standards Wolf and his ilk are using here. European countries don't have growth rates like some emerging economies do, but is 2½% and 1¾% ok by any standards? And ex-communist countries are supposed to be emerging economies, aren't they?  

By the way, this misses out Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo (a country as per USA), Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Do look up Down in the dumps
in the Economist.

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