This is not to say that those countries are PIGS. It is simply an acronym for the four economically problematique countries in Europe now. And this short post is about excess pork -- represented by high budget deficit, spending beyond their means -- in those countries.
Some macroeconomic data here on the four and other countries. Data is from The Economist, November 25, 2010 issue.
A. Budget deficit, 2010 (percent of GDP)
Ireland, -37.0% (!!!)
Compared to other rich countries that are not in crisis situation yet, the figures above (except that of Ireland) do not differ much:
B. Unemployment rate, 2010, in percent
Spain, 20.8, September
Ireland, 13.6, October
Greece, 12.2, August
Portugal, 10.9, Q3
They are indeed high, compared to other rich economies' levels:
France, 10.0, Sept.
US, 9.6, Oct.
Italy, 8.3, Sept.
Canada, 7.9, Oct.
Britain, 7.7, Sept.
Germany, 7.5, Oct.
Netherlands, 5.2, Oct.
Japan, 5.0, Sept.
We will be watching these four countries as they continue to make (negative) headlines) these days.