“Because of China’s scale, its potential volatility and the limited room for conventional monetary manoeuvres, the global risk to domestic economic performance in the US, Europe and many emerging markets is as great as at any time I can remember”. (Photograph:  DAVID CHANG/EPA)

Often markets are volatile at the end of a year and then settle down as a new year begins. Not this year. US and European markets closed lower on Fri(...)

Central bankers around the world including the Fed’s Janet Yellen (pictured) are trying to reach an annual inflation target of 2 per cent. (Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Monty Bennett hasn’t seen anything quite like today’s stubbornly low inflation in his long career as a hotelier. Occupancy at the Ashford Group of Co(...)

The change in gross domestic product of crisis-hit countries is now almost universally positive, but GDP remains far below what might have been expected from pre-crisis trends. Photograph: Getty Images

The US and Europe still live with the legacies of the financial crisis of 2007-09 and the subsequent euro-zone crisis. Could better policies have prev(...)

A shopper is seen through large lantern decorations at a shopping mall in Beijing. Capital growth is falling after a huge investment boom in the 2000s, particularly in China. Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

It seems at first a puzzling scenario, and you might wonder whether it is possible at all: output can be at potential but still not be sustainable.(...)

‘In early 2011, the European Central Bank raised its intervention rate from 1 to 1.5 per cent. This was wildly inappropriate, and in the end it had to cut rates again and embark on QE.’ Photograph: Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images

Why are interest rates so low? The best answer is that the advanced countries are still in a “managed depression”. This malady is deep. It will not(...)

The United States is now adding jobs at a rate not seen since the Clinton years. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Six years ago, Paul Ryan, who has since become the chairman of the US House Ways and Means Committee and the GOP’s leading voice on matters economic, (...)

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe. As always with Japan, given its very large public debt, time may not be an unlimited resource. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Japan’s attempts, through Abenomics, to beat back against the tide of demographics may be proving futile.Japan has lapsed into its fourth recession si(...)

The Federal Reserve’s policies have also benefited the relatively well off; it is trying to raise the prices of assets which are overwhelmingly owned by the rich

When should growing inequality concern us? This is a moral and political question. It is also an economic one. It is increasingly recognised that, bey(...)

Former US treasury secretary Lawrence Summers has argued that the high-income economies seem to be worryingly unable to generate good growth in demand without extreme credit instability. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Why are real interest rates so low? And will they stay this low for long? If they do – as it seems they might – the implications will be profound: (...)

Former US treasury secretary Larry Summers suggested that there could be no easy return to pre-crisis normality in high-income economies. Instead, he sketched out a disturbing future of chronically weak demand and slow economic growth.

Lawrence Summers has poured gallons of icy water on any remaining optimists. Speaking on a panel at the International Monetary Fund’s annual research (...)