Whisper it quietly: Are those green shoots of recovery over there?
1 Any gardener will tell you that the trouble with green shoots is that a climatic event can come along and snuff them out just as they emerge. Recent weeks, however, have seen a better quarterly GDP growth number from the United Kingdom and a growing belief that the number can be sustained, that a corner has been turned, that recovery is underway. It has been some time coming; it has been an “L” of a time, this downturn. And we’re still not back economically to where we were when this downturn started. The United Kingdom’s 0.6 percent GDP growth number for the second quarter of the year follows the 0.3 percent for the first quarter and means that the country is already well on the way to hitting the latest full-year 2013 consensus GDP growth forecast of 1.0 percent. Germany, central to the euro zone’s recovery prospects, achieved a miserly GDP growth number of 0.1 percent in the first quarter, attributed largely to the effects of bad weather,