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EU Economy: Under Close Watch

  • April 17th, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-money-symbol-coins.jpgCareful pulse-taking of the European economy shows modest performance – not encouraging for advocates of necessary expansion, not alarming.

REACHING A TURNING POINT?

In the background is a constant possibility of recession, and damaging unemployment, reaching towards 25% in parts, including Spain, scene of the latest public disturbances and demonstrations against want.

Building up of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), to back up European Union states under pressure from debt, has been coupled with special assistance to Greece -  €169.4-billion (A$215.18-billion; exe.com, 17.4.12) approved during March.

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, told the European Parliament, that alongside monetary policy, consumers and investors would regain confidence through and overall, drive to restore confidence in the Eurozone – the bloc of 16 states using the Euro currency, within the EU.

“Our strategy is starting to work”, he said.

“We have reached a turning point in the crisis, while being fully aware of the remaining vulnerabilities.”

FACTS AND STATS

Those vulnerabilities remained evident in the fairly slow figures produced by the Eurostat agency, on 6.3.12.

These showed the Eurozone and EU GDP contracting by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011 in comparison with the previous quarter – although those but figures increased respectively by 0.7% and 0.9% in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2010.

In 2011 GDP was up by 1.4% in the Eurozone, and by 1.5% in the EU overall.

Another Eurostat study, 12.3.12, showed the EU current account was in surplus by €4.4-billion (A$5.58-billion), in the final quarter of 2011 – against a deficit of €21.4-billion (A$27.18-billion) in the same period for 2010.

Also in the fourth quarter 2011, the deficit in EU trade in goods was down over the year, from €30.4-billion in 2010 (A$38.6-billion), to €11.3-billion (A$14.35-billion). The fourth-quarter surplus in trade in services was up over the year, from €25.1-billion (A$31.87-billion), to €31.4-billion (A$39.88-billion).

Reference

European Union Delegation to Australia, Canberra, Newsletter 332, 20.3.12.

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