Scott Sumner had a piece on the wretched GDP growth of some advanced countries, and I thought to check the numbers for myself. Here are the latest GDP numbers, in index form with Q1 2008 = 100, for selected OECD countries.
First, the Euro Zone has not recovered pre-recessionary levels of GDP. It's still about 1% below the level of seven years ago. This is virtually identical to Japan.
Second, of the selected countries that have done well--Australia, Norway and the United States--all are commodity, primarily energy, exporters. The US is, of course, an oil importer, but its oil imports have fallen by 2/3 since 2005 and so the country's terms of trade are much improved. Hence the strong dollar. (As it relates to China, here.)
Germany and the UK are up since early 2008, but not by much. The same is true of France, but less so.
The PIGS are recovering, with the recessionary trough around Q2 2013. Ireland, Portugal and Spain are all showing signs of life, even if none of them have recovered earlier peaks. Ireland is the closest, about 3% below its 2008 peak.
Greece is in a separate world of hurt. It is simply worse, much worse, than any other country in the group. It stands entirely alone. Scott Sumner wonders what Greece’s total growth will be from 2007 to 2027. "Maybe 0.1%?"
Given the weight of debt on Greece, growth could be quite slow indeed. However, with proper policies, Greece GDP growth could be running at 9% this time next year and could hold that level for the next three or four. It needs to proper incentive package. That's all.