UPDATE: FIFA bites back and bans Uruguay's Luis Suarez for 4 months
As 12ET rolls around and USA's soccer team prepares to engage zee Germans with the goal of advancing to the FIFA World Cup's knockout stage, Bloomberg undertook an 'economic' face off to see just how the two powerhouse nations stack up. The result - a 4-0 win for Germany does not bode well for the soccer...
Stage 1: Economic Growth (Germany wins on reality vs hope)
German gross domestic product grew 2.3 percent in the first quarter. That compares with a 2.9 percent contraction for the U.S. economy, which was revised down yesterday from a 1 percent drop. [clear win for Germany]
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of the revision forecast a rebound for the second quarter, with GDP growth of 3.5 percent. Germany's expansion is predicted to slow to 1.8 percent. [USA marginal win on 'hope']
Stage 2: Jobs (Germany wins)
Germany's jobless rate has fallen to 5.2 percent from 8 percent in June 2009, according to Eurostat. The labor-force participation rate has risen to 81.38 percent from 80.71 percent in the same period, OECD data show. [clear win for Germany]
The U.S. unemployment rate is 6.3 percent, down from 10 percent in October 2009. Participation has fallen to 62.8 percent from 65 percent in the same period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Using comparable OECD measures of participation, the spread between the German and U.S. figures is almost 17 percentage points, compared with less than 14 before the global financial crisis. [win for Germany]
Stage 3: Current Account (Germany wins)
Germany's current account surplus was 7.5 percent of GDP in the first quarter, driven by a trade surplus of 17.4 billion euros in April. That compares with a current-account deficit of more than 2 percent for the U.S. Some European Union leaders have urged Germany to reduce its trade imbalance to help spur growth in the region. Still, the Kiel-based IfW Institute predicted on June 12 that foreign trade will contribute little to Germany's expansion in 2014 and 2015. Instead, growth will be driven mostly by corporate investments and consumer spending, IfW said. [Germany win]
Stage 4: Costs of Funding (Germany wins)
U.S. Treasury 10-year yields are the highest relative to comparable German bunds in almost 15 years, as Federal Reserve and European Central Bank policies diverge. The Fed's bond-buying program is on pace to end later this year, while the ECB announced on June 5 it would "intensify" preparations to purchase asset-backed securities. [Germany clear win]
Goldman Sachs predicts the game to be a 2-1 win for Germany.
On the bright side - FIFA banned Luis Suarze for 4 months...