A commenter on Seeking Alpha pointed out the omission of Canada as being unfortunate given the example that it sets in terms of sustaining a surplus and showing fiscal discipline. To see the article on Seeking Alpha go here: seekingalpha.com/article/180278-develope...
The purpose of this article was to point to the key risk areas and inform strategy. But the comments are worthy of thought and I include the charts below with the Canada data added:
Chart 3. Fiscal Balances (G7)
Chart 5. Spending/Borrowing Gap
Canada: Fiscal Balance (IMF Data)
This chart shows that Canada has broadly speaking run surpluses through the better part of the past decade. IMF forecasts are for a significant turnaround to deficits (likely driven by implications of the recession/crisis). The impact on Canadian government borrowing can be seen in the next chart...
Canada: Government Borrowings (IMF Data)
Unsurprisingly Canada's government debt peaked around the time that it started generating fiscal surpluses, and since then has been on a steady downward track.
Ultimately the other developed economies probably want to find themselves on a similar path - and to a certain extent the borrowings/deficits will be somewhat self limiting in that at a certain arbitrary threshold it will become a hot political issue - then doing the right thing will become fashionable and there may be some short-medium term action towards it. Ultimately also market forces will weigh in on fiscal profligacy!
Originally published here: econgrapher.blogspot.com/2009/12/are-dev...
Disclosure: "No positions"