G20 to Look Ahead Rather than Back

With the road ahead looking a bit smoother, G20 finance ministers will be happy to ignore the wreck in the rear-view mirror when they meet this week to steer a course for the world economy.

The euro zone as a whole and a clutch of its members, including France, Italy and the Netherlands, are expected to report that their economies shrank last quarter – joining Germany and the United States – while Japan’s barely grew, according to economists polled by Reuters.

But the Group of 20 leading economies, which meets in Moscow on Friday, should be able to take heart from a pair of more timely indicators – a New York Fed manufacturing survey and a University of Michigan poll on consumer sentiment.

Economists expect both to show an improvement, despite the gnawing uncertainty of how long-running U.S. deficit reduction negotiations will affect taxes and spending.


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