Euro zone growth grinds to a halt in Q4

| April 7, 2010 | 0 Comments
Euro zone growth grinds to a halt in Q4

The European Union’s statistics office has today revealed the euro zone economy grew at a slower rate in the fourth quarter than previous estimates showed.

According to official figures, the economy stagnated during the three month period with a rate of 0%, revised down from the previously estimated 0.1%.

The latest figures are a further blow to the euro zone which is suffering from a falling euro amid the Greek debt crisis.

Over the last few months, financial markets have been nervous about the dire state of public finances in euro zone nations Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain - the so-called PIIGS countries.

Today, a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will meet in Athens to discuss the crisis in the Greek Government’s finances.

Euro zone nations have agreed that if Greece requires financial help, it should come partly from them and partly from the IMF.

However, the euro zone has, in the past, avoided seeking an IMF loan for Greece, opting for a solution closer to home to maintain global confidence in the euro.

According to many analysts, IMF involvement is likely to de-value the euro even further.

In related news, last week it was revealed that unemployment in the 16-member euro zone rose to 10% in February - the first time it has reached this level since the common currency was introduced.

Meanwhile, latest figures show inflation in the euro zone reached 1.5% in March - a 15-month high.

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