ITUC Warns “Lowflation” Could Turn Into Deflation

A new economic briefing from the ITUC, presented at an “L20” forum in Melbourne today, warns that public spending curbs, wage cuts and corporate deleverage could turn into deflation in Europe.

The report, jointly produced with the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee TUAC, also questions whether positive growth rates projected for the US, UK, Japan and Germany are over-optimistic, and points to several other disturbing economic facts, including:

-  Cooling of emerging market economies and continuous contraction in the Euro area crisis countries;
-  The “old” challenges of low growth and high public and private debt remain unsolved while new threats are looming;
-  Central Banks have become the last resort for the global economy, contributing to potential real estate and stock market bubbles; and,
-  Emerging market debt, in countries such as Brazil, China, Russia and Turkey, has reached unsustainable levels.

“These developments are the result of the current global policy of austerity, ‘reforms’ designed to weaken labour market institutions and the toleration of rising inequality. We need a policy shift to get out of this trap and prevent another financial crisis from happening that would put the real economy and the well-being of millions of families at stake,” John Evans, ITUC Chief Economist and TUAC General Secretary told the Forum.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “We can’t afford to go back to old growth models where the top 1% have taken the lion’s share of growth compared to hardworking families whose wages have remained stagnant.”

To read the Economic Briefing

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 02 04 or +32 476 621 018