Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Eurozone Fundamental Problems Remain Unresolved

"Beneath the surface calm of lower spreads and lower tail risks, the eurozone's fundamental problems remain unresolved. For starters, potential growth is still too low in most of the periphery, given ageing populations and low productivity growth, while actual growth – even once the periphery exits the recession, in 2014 – will remain below 1% for the next few years, implying that unemployment rates will remain very high.
Meanwhile, levels of private and public debt, domestic and foreign, are still too high, and continue to rise as a share of GDP, owing to slow or negative output growth. This means that the issue of medium-term sustainability remains unresolved.

At the same time, the loss of competitiveness has been only partly reversed, with most of the improvement in external balances being cyclical rather than structural. The severe recession in the periphery has caused imports there to collapse, but lower unit labour costs have boosted exports insufficiently. The euro is still too strong, severely limiting the improvement in competitiveness that is needed to boost net exports in the face of weak domestic demand." - in The Guardian

Related ETFs: iShares Germany ETF (EWG), iShares MSCI Italy Index ETF (EWI), iShares MSCI Spain Index ETF (EWP)

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