Skip to comments.Down Under, Things May Not Be So Happy (Australia's economy vulnerable: China-powered growth slows)
Posted on 05/25/2012 10:02:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Australia, long called the "lucky country," officially is the happiest country on earth. That's at least according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, whose economists reckon they can distill human emotion into statistics.
At least the OECD's number crunchers acknowledge there is something more to happiness than money. In addition to household income, they also take into account how much of that is required for shelter; the percentage of the population that is employed; the percentage that have to work "very long hours;" educational attainment; voter turnout, and pollution. Norway comes in second, while the U.S. ranks third, even though, as Archie Bunker bellowed long ago in the classic "All in the Family," America "has the grossest national product."
Australia, meanwhile, is where the phrase "No worries" originated. And it is the source of rivers of reasonably priced wines and beer, which is produced in massive quantities that remarkably exceeds even the copious domestic demand.
Meanwhile, a resource-based boom has allowed the Aussie economy to sidestep the recession that enveloped most of the industrialized world after the 2007-08 credit crisis. And not the least, Down Under is about as far away you can get away from Europe and its problems. That's drawn immigrants from the rest of the world, which may be the best indicator of a country's quality of life as it reflects how people vote with their feet.
But my Kiwi cousin, who recently returned home to New Zealand after many years in Australia, avers you wouldn't know it from living there that Aussies are the happiest folks on earth. The climate is wonderful, she agrees, albeit with an overabundance of floods, droughts and fires (which sounds a lot like California.) And she adds pensioners on low incomes are struggling
(Excerpt) Read more at online.barrons.com ...
However, the Australian economy’s fundamentals looks OK compared to most other countries.
Debt to GDP ratio is just 30%. Japan’s is a dangerous 208% while ours is already 103%.
Government budget deficit as % of GDP is just 1.5% in 2012 and is projected to shrink to 0.3% in 2013.
By contrast, Japan’s is 8.9% of GDP and projected to increase to 9.5% of GDP.
Ours ( the USA ) is 9.3% of GDP and projected to be 8.3% next year ( depending on which party will be in power ).
When your product base and your customer base are that small, things could go south in a hurry.
I another thread posted here yesterday or the day before Denmark came out on top and the runners up were also different from those stated in this posted article. Guess folks can just make up what they feel is convenient to their agenda. (The whole OECD poll is fundamentally flawed and nonsensical IMO.)