A look at the nations of the Group of Eight
The Group of eight nations meeting in Camp David this weekend share many problems — chief among them how to manage high levels of public debt, historically high unemployment and a competitive challenge from emerging nations such as China and Brazil. But they come into the session with widely differing philosophies about how to respond, and with widely different circumstances at home. Germany has become an export powerhouse that has been steadily adding jobs, and it argues that its combination of frugal government and suppression of domestic wage levels should be followed throughout Europe. The Obama administration has maintained stimulus programs to boost employment; Japan, unique in how much of its government debt is locally held, still struggles with the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami and nuclear crisis.
Sources: World Economic Outlook database, April 2012, International Monetary Fund. The Washington Post.