High jobless rate hovers over US | Shanghai Daily

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November 12, 2009

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High jobless rate hovers over US

STUBBORNLY high joblessness threatens to trigger loan defaults and drag on consumption next year, hobbling a United States economy struggling to rebound from recession, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said yesterday.

Zoellick warned that the US unemployment rate, which jumped to a 26-year high of 10.2 percent in October, will likely remain elevated in 2010.

"You're going to have problems with delinquencies of credit card loans, consumer loans, people won't be able to pay their mortgages," Zoellick told reporters in Singapore. "Some banks are going to continue to be troubled by bad loans."

Government stimulus spending will likely fuel economic growth through the middle of next year, Zoellick said. After that, consumer spending and business investment must take the baton to boost expansion, he said.

"If you've got large scale unemployment, if you've got consumers rebuilding savings and deleveraging, I don't think the consumer is going to play that role," he said. "What's the other source of demand?"

The US economy grew an annualized 3.5 percent in the July to September period after shrinking five of the previous six quarters.

Governments should execute existing stimulus packages, but hold off on implementing new ones, he said.

Asian authorities should consider ways to tighten monetary liquidity, such as raising interest rates, before asset price bubbles get out of hand, Zoellick said.




 

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