Eurozone mired in recession pause

CEPR Business Cycle Dating Committee 17 June 2014

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The CEPR Business Cycle Dating Committee met on 11 June 2014 to determine whether the Eurozone is out of the recession that started after 2011Q3. The duty of the Committee – comprised of Philippe Weil (Chair), Domenico Giannone, Refet Gürkaynak, Monika Merz, Richard Portes, Lucrezia Reichlin, Albrecht Ritschl, Barbara Rossi, and Karl Whelan – is to date peaks and troughs of the Eurozone business cycle, marking recessions and expansions – a role similar to that of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee in the US.

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Topics:  Europe's nations and regions Global crisis

Tags:  eurozone, growth, GDP, recession, business cycles, CEPR, trough, business cycle dating, expansion, peak

Lacklustre investment in the Eurozone: Is there a puzzle?

Marco Buti, Philipp Mohl 04 June 2014

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On the importance of investment for the Eurozone economy

According to the European Commission’s most recent forecast, real economic activity in the Eurozone is expected to recover at a moderate pace until 2015, and to remain significantly weaker than in the US (European Commission 2014a).

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Topics:  EU policies Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  eurozone, growth, European Commission, investment, uncertainty, structural reforms, Bankruptcy, Eurozone crisis, public investment, banking union, financial fragmentation

Eurozone external adjustment and real exchange rate movements: The role of firm productivity distribution

Filippo di Mauro, Francesco Pappadà 02 June 2014

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A corollary of the Eurozone crisis has been an unusually large current-account surplus for the Eurozone as a whole, resulting from a combination of strong external demand and rapid readjustment of external accounts in the Eurozone countries that had previously accumulated large imbalances.

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Topics:  Europe's nations and regions Exchange rates

Tags:  eurozone, exchange rates, productivity, imbalances, exports, rebalancing

Italy and the euro: Myths and realities

Paolo Manasse, Tommaso Nannicini, Alessandro Saia 24 May 2014

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A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of the euro. In the wake of the European elections of 25 May, the debate on the pros and cons of the euro – in Italy and throughout the Eurozone – are dominated by partisan politics. The empirical evidence is often distorted to suit one’s need.

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Topics:  Monetary policy

Tags:  eurozone

ECB: An appropriate monetary policy

Mickey Levy 16 May 2014

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Europe’s modest economic recovery and uncomfortably low inflation put the ECB in a bind. Although economic conditions are improving gradually (European Commission 2014), concerns about the potentially negative impacts of deflation persist (Armstrong et al. 2014). The ECB’s top near-term priorities are to avoid deflation (and apparently even sustained low inflation) and extend the economic recovery.

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Topics:  Monetary policy

Tags:  ECB, eurozone, monetary policy, quantitative easing, bank lending

How the euro changed the pattern of international debt flows

Galina Hale, Maurice Obstfeld 15 May 2014

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Internal financial imbalances within the Eurozone were central to the development of the European debt crisis. They resulted in a concentration of European periphery risks on the balance sheets of banks located in core Eurozone countries (Lane 2012, Rey 2012, Shin 2012). They also promoted larger intra-Eurozone current-account deficits and a sharp fall in peripheral bond yields, accompanied by a loss of competitiveness of the peripheral economies, most strikingly relative to Germany (Chen et al. 2013, Shambaugh 2012).

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Topics:  EU institutions Financial markets

Tags:  eurozone, Debt crisis

The increasing competitiveness of the southern Eurozone

Raphael Auer 11 April 2014

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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.

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Topics:  Europe's nations and regions International finance

Tags:  eurozone, Eurozone crisis, current account rebalancing

Delivering the Eurozone ‘Consistent Trinity’

Marco Buti, Maria Demertzis, João Nogueira Martins 30 March 2014

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As argued in an earlier commentary, the financial crisis exposed important economic inconsistencies in the way that EMU operated.1 Although progress has been made, the reality is that more needs to be done. A number of countries still need to consolidate their public finances further, and also implement structural reforms to promote growth and sustain satisfactory welfare systems. At the same time, there is a need for vulnerable countries to ensure consistency between regaining competitiveness and the sustainability of private and public debts.

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Topics:  Europe's nations and regions Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  eurozone, euro, EMU, imbalances, fiscal policy, structural reforms, fiscal consolidation, debt, Eurozone crisis, Stability and Growth Pact, banking union, internal devaluation

The Eiffel group: A political community to rebuild the architecture of the euro

Agnès Benassy-Quéré, Shahin Vallee 27 March 2014

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The idea that the European Monetary Union can only exist with some form of political integration and a proper budget is not new. In 1977, the MacDougall report suggested that a budget of the order of 5-7% of GDP was necessary, and in the run-up of the Maastricht treaty, Jacques Delors was insistent on the needs for political integration (see, e.g., Delors 1991). Yet, for lack of political consensus, it was decided to proceed with monetary union alone in the hope that monetary and financial integration would eventually precipitate both fiscal and political integration over time.

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Topics:  EU institutions EU policies

Tags:  eurozone, Eurozone crisis, Eiffel group

TARGET balances, Bretton Woods, and the Great Depression

Michael Bordo 21 March 2014

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During the Eurozone crisis, an analogy was made between the events in Europe between 2007 and 2012 and the collapse of the Bretton Woods System between 1968 and 1971. There has been a build-up of TARGET liabilities since 2007 by some central banks (notably Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, or the ‘GIPS’), and of TARGET assets by Germany and others.

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Topics:  Economic history International finance

Tags:  ECB, eurozone, euro, global imbalances, Central Banks, financial crisis, Great Depression, Eurosystem, Eurozone crisis, Bretton Woods, TARGET

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