Things can only get better

Peat, Jeremy
July 2001
Accountancy;Jul2001, Vol. 128 Issue 1295, p74
Trade Publication
This article examines the economic performance and prospects of countries that form the eurozone in Europe as of July 2001. Europe is by no means one economy. Within the 12 countries that form the eurozone, economic performance and prospects are mixed. Thus, France is outperforming Germany, the periphery of the zone is tending to grow faster than the core, and Ireland is positively idiosyncratic. The story of the eurozone can be readily summarized. Through 1999 and into 2000, growth was strong, with unemployment falling sharply from unacceptably high levels. Now growth has slowed, and the outlook for the rest of this year is less appealing than it appeared a few months back. Europe is not immune to the U.S. slowdown, despite being more inward-looking since the introduction of the euro and despite the benefits for trade from the single currency's continuing weakness. In addition, there are understandable concerns about the operation of economic governance and the potential for sustained rapid growth, given the limited progress towards enhanced flexibility in labor and product markets. The coming of euro notes and coins in January 2002 should accelerate the completion of the single market, in goods and services.


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