Which of the following nations recorded the strongest economic growth in the second quarter? France, Germany, Italy, Japan, or the United States?
This nice chart from today’s Wall Street Journal provides the answer (click for larger version):
The U.S. expanded at a tepid 1.3% annual pace in Q2, but that was still better than many other developed economies. Italy grew at a 1% pace, Germany at 0.5%, and France at 0.0%. And then there’s Japan, which contracted at a 1.3% pace.
The chart also nicely illustrates just how sharp the GDP declines were in late 2008 and early 2009. Both Germany and Japan, for example, had quarters in which economic activity contracted at a 15% annual pace or more. By contrast, the worst U.S. quarter saw declines at “only” a 8.9% pace.