Continuing my theme of expected (low) growth for major western economies, Germany “the powerhouse of Europe” has reported Q2 growth of just 0.1%, less even than the UK at 0.2% and the 17 country Eurozone average of 0.2% and France at zero. This will not help Europe to reduce its debt burden. Now we know one of the key factors stock markets have been adjusting to over the last few weeks, (the other major one being the outlook for US growth). Forecast growth rates for many major economies including the UK will inevitably need downgrading over coming months. The GDP forecast for the UK for 2011 was 2 to 2.5% 12 months ago, since then forecasts have been cut to 1.5%+ and even that now looks optimistic. Major developed economies such as the UK may have to get used to lower growth rates (1 to 1.5%) for some years.