Eurozone Growth Forecasts Down

There is a curious combination of expectations right now. The euro is rising, principally because of preoccupations about the US trade deficit and the associated sustainability issues, but also because there seem to be signs of a slightly better collective performance later in the year. This assessment may well be accurate. So what this means is that growth may still be slowing, but it may be about to pick up. Hence downward revisions for this year are quite compatible with mild optimism in the near term. Of course this situation will not be the same everywhere, and there are still no encouraging signs from Italy.

Economic growth in the euro region will fall short of official forecasts in 2005 as oil hovers near a record, consumer confidence stagnates and Italy struggles with recession, European finance ministers said.

Finance ministers are counting on growth in the 12-nation economy of only 1.3 percent, less than the 1.6 percent predicted by the European Commission in April, Luxembourg Prime and Finance Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".