Sunday

13th Jun 2021

IMF warns Europe of falling behind US on recovery

  • Paris: France's gloomy outlook is weighing on Europe (Photo: Moyan Brenn)

Europe is falling behind the US in emerging from the economic crisis, with sluggish growth in Germany and recession in France worsening the outlook for eurozone periphery countries, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

"Recent good news about the US has come with renewed worries about the euro area. Given the strong interconnections between countries, an uneven recovery is also a dangerous one," Olivier Blanchard, IMF chief economist said Tuesday (16 April) when presenting the World Economic Outlook.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The IMF forecasts growth in the US to be at 1.9 percent this year and 3 percent in 2014, while the eurozone economy will contract by 0.3 percent this year and grow by only 1.1 percent in 2014.

But apart from the known troubles in Italy and Spain, where the economy is set to shrink "substantially" this year, Blanchard flagged up "weaknesses in the core," a reference to Germany and France.

Germany's growth is forecast to be only 0.6 percent this year, while France will have a "slightly negative forecast, reflecting a combination of fiscal consolidation, poor export performance, and increasingly so, low confidence."

"Low growth in the euro core is bad news not only on its own, but is clearly bad news for euro periphery countries which depends very much on the core," Blanchard noted.

Meanwhile, "institutional progress" in the eurozone, such as steps to create a so-called banking union and help from the European Central Bank" is not enough."

"The interest rates facing borrowers in periphery countries are still too high to secure the recovery, and there is a need for further and urgent measures to strengthen banks without weakening the sovereigns," Blanchard added.

That sense of urgency is not felt in Berlin, where the finance minister recently said a change in the EU treaties would be needed to set up institutions dealing with the bankruptcy of banks without tapping taxpayers' money.

A treaty change usually means years of wrangling and can be vetoed by one member state.

Eurozone recession to continue in 2013

The eurozone economy will shrink by a further 0.3 per cent in 2013, the European Commission has said. The bloc will have to wait until 2014 before seeing economic growth.

News in Brief

  1. EU top court fast-tracks rule-of-law case to October
  2. Hungary's Fidesz wants to ban LGBTIQ content for under-18s
  3. MEPs join EU citizens on farm-animal cage ban
  4. Council of Europe urges Russia to release Navalny 'immediately'
  5. China's anti-sanctions law alarms EU businesses
  6. Airlines seek to water down EU passengers' rights
  7. EU leaders join call for further probe into Covid origins
  8. Liberal MEPs under fire over Babiš abstention

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU urges Poland to step back from 'legal primacy' clash
  2. Pressure builds on EU to back WTO vaccine-patent waiver
  3. EU anti-fraud agency cracked down on fake pandemic supplies
  4. MEP office expenses kept secret on dubious evidence
  5. What the EU public think of EU pesticide regulation
  6. MEPs set to take EU Commission to court on rule-of-law
  7. EU takes legal action against Germany on bonds ruling
  8. MEPs demand new EU biodiversity law by next year

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us