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Brussels rediscovers growth

MADRID | Brussels seems to start taking growth into serious consideration. Up to now it follows the line that bringing deficit under tight control would be enough to trigger recovery, austerity standing as the only recipe to cure every shortcoming. The severe downturn that currently plunges European economies into utter disarray is casting doubts on the merits of such a simplistic view. Countries having lived beyond their means face now a…


What the euro zone needs: productivity, competitiveness …and patience

By LaCaixa Research Team, in Barcelona | In the years prior to the recession that started in the last decade, in many countries the gradually increasing debt of the private sector allowed for much more intensive economic growth than would have been seen without it. The abrupt appearance of the crisis frustrated this expansion and revealed an excessive level of debt. This debt is now a heavy burden that can counteract…


JP Morgan blames UK’s recession on austerity, but Skandia sees cheap stocks

LONDON | J.P. Morgan asset management had some cold words on the news that the UK has entered a double dip recession. Tom Elliott, global strategist at the investment company said that  “For most people, the country has felt like it has been in recession since late 2008, so news of an official double dip will be no surprise.” In a short note released after the British office for national statistics…


The euro claims another victim: the UK

LONDON | Already in the mood to dismiss 2012 as a lost year for the UK economy? Analysts in the City of London waived as a non-event the preliminary GDP estimate of this year’s first quarter, released Wednesday by the office of national statistics, which showed that the British economy had contracted by -0.2%. The negative figure added up to a -0.3% fall in the economy in the final three months…


Beware France

By Jesús Sánchez-Quinones, in Madrid, for Cotizalia | Europe has for more than three years now been immersed in a profound crisis of its economy and beyond. The focus of trouble has been moving from country to country. First it was Greece, when its authorities acknowledged that they had falsified its public account figures in late 2009. After Greece, the focus shifted to Ireland when his government had to seek a bailout to…


Brussels orders austerity, Europe returns economic contraction

Awaiting the government’s official figures, which will be released next 30 April, the forecast published this week by the Bank of Spain should be taken as a telling sign of the success that austerity budgets throughout euro peripheral State members are enjoying. The Spanish central bank said that it expects the country’s economic activity to fall by 0.4pc during the first quarter of 2012, a one-tenth down from 2011’s last…


Hollande vs Sarkozy: a quick check by JP Morgan

MADRID | Although nine candidates attempted on Sunday to pass through to the second round of the French presidential elections, only two mattered in the dispute for the trophy: Nicolas Sarkozy, current president of the republic, and the socialist Francois Hollande. Two days after the first round of elections, the polls are very clear and give a significant advantage to Hollande, with an intention to vote of 54% against 45% for Sarkozy….

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Lloyds TSB forecasts UK economic recovery “very weak”

LONDON | Consumers’ discretionary spending in the UK continued to deteriorate in March, and after inflation fell 1.1% from a year earlier, reaching its lowest level since February 2011. This equates to £113 less a year to spend on non-essential items. In its latest Spending Power Report released Monday, Lloyds TSB said hopes for a pick-up in economic activity in 2012 will go unanswered as consumers feel biggest squeeze in…


France most vulnerable to political risk in the euro zone, says Schroders

LONDON | In its global macro outlook report, investment company Schroders said on Friday that its eyes were on France amidst ongoing euro zone concerns and despite the uncertainty surrounding Spain. The upcoming elections could thwart France’s plans to implement State budget cuts, the Schroders paper highlighted, while the European Central Bank refinancing lines would have ring-fenced the Spanish banking sector from liquidity scarcity, unlike Italy’s. “France is the euro zone member currently…

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European Commissioner Viviane Reding: “We’ll fight for our social welfare state”

She is the most experienced member of the European Commission and it shows. In her third term at the European institution, Viviane Reding does not shy away from discussing almost any subject, not even the poor economic situation of Spain, which she addressed in detail during an exclusive interview with Cinco Días. Reding is travelling on Thursday to Madrid, to meet with several members The official thesis in Brussels finds…