Monday, August 23, 2004

If the EU was a State in the Union

A new study from a Swedish think tank compares GDP and growth in the Western world and finds some not so suprising results.

EU versus USA

"If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of
states. France, Italy, Great Britain and Germany have lower GDP per capita than all but four of the states in the United States. In fact, GDP per capita is lower in the vast majority of the EU-countries (EU 15) than in most of the individual American states. This puts Europeans at a level of prosperity on par with states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia. Only the miniscule country of Luxembourg has higher per capita GDP than the average state in the USA. The results of the new study represent a grave critique of European economic policy.

Stark differences become apparent when comparing official economic statistics. Europe lags behind the USA when comparing GDP per capita and GDP growth rates. The current economic debate among EU leaders lacks an understanding of the gravity of the situation in many European countries. Structural reforms of the European economy as well as far reaching welfare reforms are well overdue. The Lisbon process lacks true impetus, nor is it sufficient to improve the economic prospects of the EU.

EU versus USA is written by Dr Fredrik Bergström, President of the Swedish Research Institute of Trade, and Mr Robert Gidehag, until recently Chief Economist of the same institute and now President of the Swedish Taxpayer's Association."

Download the report from Timbro.com

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