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Advanced economies are currently in a slow-growth environment. Although the National Bureau of Economic Research formally announced in September that the U.S. recession ended in June 2009, a number of underlying structural issues continue to hamper economic growth and recovery. In addition to an examination of these factors, this month’s issue outlines a possible solution to the sovereign-debt crisis faced by many economies. The framework is based on two principles: the encouragement of productivity-driven GDP growth and the placement of restraints on the growth of government spending to ensure it lags GDP growth.