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Unexpected but still precarious resilience

Published on 26/07/2013
 Unexpected but still precarious resilience
Berliner Zeitung

"End of recession in Europe," proclaims the Berliner Zeitung. The German daily bases its optimistic pronouncement on the latest purchasing managers’ index, a survey of 3,000 companies in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Greece and the Netherlands, which is used to forecast economic trends.

The index for the Eurozone, based on a host of indicators including output and orders received to date, hit 50.4 points in June 2013 as against 45.1 points in June 2012. This comes as "a surprise", admits the Berliner Zeitung, which goes on to explain that "several factors indicate that the economies in the countries of southern Europe are also going to rebound and that the disparity between the relatively stable north of Europe and the weak south is slowly coming to an end".

The Financial Times says the figures show the EU’s "unexpected resilience" to the sluggish growth of China, a key export market for Germany. The business daily continues –

Unexpected but still precarious resilienceThe data make it more likely that the European Central Bank will hold steady in its policy stance. This month it adopted its first "forward guidance" – a pledge to keep rates low for the time being – and said it was ready to cut further if economic data deteriorated.

Nevertheless, warns Les Echos, "the rating agencies are not yet finished chastening the Eurozone countries". The French business daily adds that

Unexpected but still precarious resiliencethe ratings of 14 out of the 17 Eurozone countries are showing a downward trend at one agency at least. Belgium, Italy and Spain are the most likely candidates for an imminent downgrade. […] Moody’s and S&P can actually relegate Spanish debt to the "speculative" category overnight, which would induce investors to pull out.

Read this article in German.

Reprinted with permission of Presseurop.