Category Archives: Economics in Brief

Consumer Confidence Surges In October To Highest Level Since 2004

MITECHNEWS.COM Staff writer

Consumer sentiment surged in October, reaching its highest level since the start of 2004, according to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

This was only the second time that the Sentiment Index was above 100.0 since the end of the record 1990s expansion. The October gain was due to the most favorable assessments of the financial situation of consumers since 2000, said U-M economist Richard Curtin, director of the surveys.

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Does European Populism Exist?

BY Timothy Garton Ash a British historian, author and commentator. He is Professor of European Studies at Oxford University.

What is populism? Where does it come from; where is it going? What does it mean for the world’s institutions and what can be done about? asks Dani Rodrik in introducing the inaugural talk by the  Weatherhead Center Cluster on Global Populism with Tim Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford, speaking at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard last month.

This lecture has been published in the Social Europe Journal on
October 27, 2017. To listen to it please visit:

Does European Populism Exist?

National Fiscal Flexibility: EU Parliament Plans A Big Step Backwards

By John Weeks. He is an economist and Professor Emeritus at SOAS, University of London. John received his PhD in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1969. He is author of a new book entitled ‘Economics of the 1%: How mainstream economics serves the rich, obscures reality and distorts policy’ (Anthem).

I and many others have argued that the basic EU treaties have flexibility to accommodate most social democratic policies such as those in the 2017 Manifesto of the UK Labour Party. Our argument may soon suffer a decisive blow from the EU parliament.

In March 2012 twenty-five EU national governments signed the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG), the “fiscal pact”. By signing national governments “contracted” (the treaty term) to obey its detailed fiscal rules. The TSCG did not achieve unanimous approval, thus could not become part of the de facto EU constitution; i.e., contrary to the intention of the fiscally reactionary governments, it was not incorporated into the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

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