No miracles in southern Eurozone without resource reallocation
Ramon Xifré 12 September 2014
As the most acute phase of the Eurozone crisis is over, the current-account balances of France, Italy, and Spain have improved. This column warns against complacency about this improvement, pointing at some structural factors that impede growth and damage competitiveness. Resources should be relocated towards the tradeable sectors and to those firms most prepared to grow and compete. If not, these three countries are likely to aggravate the dysfunctional duality of their economies.
The most acute phase of the Global Crisis appears to be over in the Eurozone. Prospects for growth are still moderate but no recession is foreseen in the short-run and sovereign debt markets seem to be getting out of the turbulences. The prevailing view is that the countries that have been under the Economic Adjustment Programmes (EAP) have drastically improved their conditions with the recovery extending to large, non-EAP but ‘vulnerable’ member states like Spain, Italy, and France.
Europe's nations and regions Global crisis Productivity and Innovation
Eurozone crisis, firm size, current account rebalancing, structural reforms, industrial policy
The increasing competitiveness of the southern Eurozone
Raphael Auer 11 April 2014
Some view the improvements in current accounts for Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain as short-lived – the result of a temporary compression of import demand that is likely to be reversed as the recession eases. This column argues the contrary, based on the fact that their improving trade balances reflect better export performance. This development points toward a fundamental stabilisation of the competitiveness of these economies.
Current-account (CA) rebalancing is a necessary step for the Southern EZ countries to overcome their debt and external balance of payments crises.1 Figure 1 documents the impressive speed and magnitude of the southern EZ’s CA rebalancing.
Europe's nations and regions International finance
eurozone, Eurozone crisis, current account rebalancing