The global economy could be back to pre-crisis growth levels by 2012, according to respondents to our web poll last week. The news will cheer Barack Obama, who will be running for re-election just as confidence returns – and history suggests that incumbents never lose when the economy is doing well.
Some of our readers were even more confident, with a few predicting we’d be back to full steam by the end of this year. That seems optimistic. The IMF reckons that global growth was around 5% during 2006 and 2007. Its prediction for this year is 3.9%, compared to -1.1% in 2009. That represents good progress, particularly in the US, where some forecasts suggest that economic growth will reach 2.7% by December – equal to 2006 and higher than the 2.1% of 2007.
Sustaining that growth without more stimulus spending will be the test of America’s (and the world’s) recovery. Some of our readers are pessimistic about that and jumped at the opportunity to express their apocalyptic fantasies by voting to say that it’s all over and we’ll never have it as good again.
Indeed, some of our more ardent end-of-the-worlders tried to hijack our voting system and spread panic. Their votes have been discounted. Even so, there was still strong general support for the idea that we’ve had our cake and eaten it.
The audited results show that 46% say the economy will recover to pre-crisis growth levels in 2012, with a still significant 29% saying that growth has peaked already. Just 2% said we’d be back to health by the end of the year, while 23% said 2011.