World Economic Survey 1956

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World Economic Survey 1956 is devoted to a study of balance of payments problems during the post-war period. It reviews the worldwide balance-of-payments experience since the war, the changes in the network of international balances and the pattern of international settlements. Furthermore, the post-war forces shaping the balance of payments of the primary producing countries are studied. The Survey also analyses recent events in the world economy, giving special attention to the factors underlying economic expansion in 1956 and the role of policy in promoting stability and growth. Finally, it provides an economic outlook for 1957.



Recent trends in industrial countries

Economic activity in the industrial countries continued to rise to new highs in 1956. The expansion entered its third year in North America and its fourth year in western Europe; in broad perspective it may be looked upon as the first peace-time expansion dominated neither by the pent-up demand of the immediate post-war period nor by the pressure of war activities during the Korean boom. The 1953/54 recession in North America proved to be minor and did not spread to western Europe, which managed instead to continue its expansion. The levelling off in 1956, particularly in those countries which had led in the current upswing, has thus far not gathered any cumulative recessionary tendencies.


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