Brace Yourself For A Global Slowdown

On the eve of the G-8 talks, the world economy is roaring along. But a year from now, watch out

When the leaders of the seven richest industrial countries--plus Russia--get together in Tokyo on July 21, expect a lot of talk about economic growth. Most of it congratulatory, if a recent meeting of the Group of Seven finance ministers is any indication. At that gathering on July 9, one minister after another remarked upon the happy state of the world economy. "I think we're really on to a period of sustainable growth," said Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin. Added Germany's Hans Eichel: "If the U.S. economy slows, I see a chance for the European Union to take over as the locomotive of world growth." Even Japan's Kiichi Miyazawa, cheered by surprisingly favorable economic data released recently, looked confident.

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