Europe believes that it is doing poorly, financially. The European Commission (EC) put out its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) activity for this year and next. This year, at least, the prediction is awful. All that EC officials can say is that the region's leaders have to do better. It is a refrain heard repeatedly for government leaders and other policy makers.
From the EC report on the slow EU economic recovery:
Following the recession that marked 2012, the EU economy is expected to stabilise in the first half of 2013. GDP growth is projected to turn positive gradually in the second half of the year before gaining some traction in 2014.
Annual GDP growth this year is now forecast at -0.1% in the EU and at -0.4% in the euro area. For 2014, economic activity is projected to expand by 1.4% in the EU and 1.2 % in the euro area.
And, the deep concern:
Olli Rehn, Commission Vice-President for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro said: "In view of the protracted recession, we must do whatever it takes to overcome the unemployment crisis in Europe. The EU's policy mix is focused on sustainable growth and job creation. Fiscal consolidation is continuing, but its pace is slowing down. In parallel, structural reforms must be intensified to unlock growth in Europe."
So far, "whatever it takes" has not been nearly enough.
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