euro zone

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How long until core euro countries hurt?

The seemingly dead weight of the peripheral economies continues to mark a divide within the common currency region. The overall picture, unavoidably, registers the cut. GDP fell by 0.2% in both the euro area and the EU during the second quarter of 2012, compared with the previous quarter. Also according to flash estimates published by Eurostat Tuesday, in the first quarter of 2012, growth rates were zero in both zones. Compared with…


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Curbing Germany’s economic enthusiasm

That the peripheral economies of the euro zone show time and again evident scars of a struggling performance is bad news, but known bad news after all. The close scrutiny to which Spain and Italy are being subjected leaves little room for surprises. All the alarms get restless, though, when core Europe somehow stumbles. And Germany has for some quarters now been bitten here and there by the decay surrounding it…


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Euro zone enters half of top 10 Visa spenders during London Olympics

LONDON | Kevin Burke, director at Visa Inc, believes that the Olympics work as a showcase for athletics, and the same goes for tourism. Burke released Wednesday data on Visa accounts spending levels of international travelers during the second week of the London 2012 Games, which reached $716.7 million. The figures mark a steady line, the total being $1.4 billion. Visitors from the US lead the top 10 list, some…


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Spail-out?

By CaixaBank research team, in Madrid | According to the Spanish Royal Academy, «rescatar» or bail out in Spanish is to release from danger, harm, trouble or oppression. Given the misgivings that the outcome of the Greek elections might lead to the country leaving the euro, something that would have hindered the considerable financing needs of Spain and Italy over the coming months, the Eurogroup welcomed the Spanish request and…


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Where is the euro’s road map?

By CaixaBank research team, in Barcelona | After the first six months of the year, it’s time to think about the current situation of the economy and its prospects for the second half of the year. There are two main lines along which the euro area’s activity is running. Firstly, the consensus that its institutional design is not enough to tackle the challenges posed by the current crisis. The absence…


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Business investment rate nearly stable at 20.6% in the euro area

The euro zone’s doggedness showed up again in the latest quarterly European sector accounts released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. From January to March of 2012, compared with the last three months of 2011, the business investment rate remained nearly stable in the euro area and fell slightly in the wider European Union. Also, the business profit share even rose slightly in the euro area, as wage costs remained…


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EU Commission gives green light to recapitalisation of several Greek banks

The European Commission announced Friday it had temporarily approved a bridge recapitalisation via the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) for Alpha Bank, EFG Eurobank, Piraeus Bank and National Bank of Greece. The injection of public capital will be provided under EU State aid rules to ensure the entities’ financial stability. But, at the same time, the Commission said it had also opened four in-depth investigations to examine whether the measure…


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Over 10pc of British small companies planned to close during last quarter

LONDON | Even before the office for national statistics released its estimates of a UK economy in continued slow-motion deterioration, 84 percent of small and medium size companies’ decision makers said they were concerned about the British economic climate, with 38% being very concerned. A new SME Risk Index from global insurer Zurich published Friday showed that the majority in the sector do not feel confident that the economic situation will improve in…


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Moody’s grades 17 German banks with negative outlook

Moody’s investors service said Thursday it had changed to negative the outlooks of 17 German banking groups and several subsidiaries. The decision affected their long-term debt and deposit ratings or their long-term guaranteed debt obligations, whose ratings incorporate support from the German government or several German federal states or municipalities. Moody’s explained the update of outlooks was the consequence of German sovereign and sub-sovereign ratings having been graded to negative from…


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Stock markets only dodged adversity

By CaixaBank research team, in Barcelona | Although the first half of the year has ended with a negative balance for most international stock markets, the latest months has been characterised by a relative improvement in indices. The reduction in fears that Greece will leave the euro and the euro area’s assistance in recapitalising Spain’s banking system marked a turning point in the trend for investors’ appetite for risk. Although…