Why them and not us?
What should matter most is what's happening to our own economy, not how we're doing compared to everyone else.
But that's not the way human nature works. As Gore Vidal once said: "it's not enough to succeed. Others must fail." And right now it's the UK that seems to be failing.
As commentators were quick to note this morning when the latest GDP figures came out, a sixth consecutive quarter of economic decline means that the UK is still in recession, while Germany, France and Japan are all now recovering.
Their economies all grew between April and June. They will probably have grown in the third quarter as well, and we're expecting the US to come out of recovery when we get their third quarter figures next week.
So, what's the problem? Chancellor Alistair Darling suggested in an interview for the BBC today that the likes of Germany and Japan had much sharper losses in output at the start, which would lead you to expect a sharper rebound.
It is true that the comparison between Britain and other countries looks a bit better when you compare the total decline in national income from peak to trough (or from the start of the recession until the end).
On that basis, Germany lost 6.7% of national income over the course of its recession. And many German economists don't think their country is out of the woods: they think another quarter or two of negative growth is quite possible.
Assuming the UK comes out of recession in the last three months of the year - and we're learning not to assume anything - then the overall loss of output for the UK would be somewhat lower, at 5.9%. The total decline for Japan has been a whopping 8.4%.
It is France and the US that come out best. The peak-to-trough decline for France will have been 3.5%. Assuming the US has now come out of recovery, its loss in income will have been 3.7%. (Thanks to Chris Apostolou at Fathom Consulting for pulling the numbers together for me).
The latest consensus forecasts are for growth of 1.3% in 2010 in the UK, similar to the government's own forecast. The prediction for Germany is 1.4%, and for France it's 1.2%. The US is expected to grow by 2.6% - but that, too, is a good deal lower than you would usually expect coming out of a steep recession.
Looking ahead, the similarities are greater than the differences. The road to recovery is expected to be fairly slow in all the major advanced economies, the UK included.
When you ask economists to explain why Britain is lagging behind, they can provide any number of reasons - particularly our greater reliance on the financial sector compared to our neighbours.
That prior dependence on the City, along with the poor state of the public finances and our long-term need to increase saving, could well lead us to enjoy slower growth than other economies in the next few years. But right now, we shouldn't fret too much about "falling behind".
It may not be comfortable for the government, but the truth is it's better for our economy to have other markets recover than for all of us to remain in recession.
After all, the cheap pound can't help British exports - or a long-term re-balancing of our economy - if there's no-one out there who wants to buy.
Growth in the rest of the world may rankle. But our own recovery won't get far without it.
PS Sorry a data mix-up resulted in earlier figures being different.