Eurozone's recovery on track
The Eurozone economy has experienced uncertainties and risks last year following on from the debt crisis in 2011.
The slower economic growth, higher unemployment, too low inflation and lower consumer spending were important factors that affected economic performance.
However, since December 2016, the economy has been showing signs of favorable recovery with the acceleration of GDP growth, the fall in unemployment, the slow improvement in inflation and in consumer confidence.
Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.4 percent in the euro area during the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with the previous quarter, according to a flash estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Furthermore, the first estimate for euro area exports of goods to the rest of the world in December 2016 was €178.6 billion, an increase of 6 percent compared with December 2015 (€168.7 billion). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €150.5 billion, a rise of 4 percent compared with December 2015 (€144.4 billion).
As a result, the euro area recorded a €28.1 billion surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in December 2016, compared with €24.4 billion in December 2015.
These improvements suggest that an overall economic recovery is occurring.
- ECB 2016 financial statements
The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has approved the audited financial statements of the ECB for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016.
The ECB’s net profit increased in 2016 by €111 million to €1,193 million, mainly due to the higher net interest income earned on the asset purchase program (APP) and the U.S. dollar portfolio.
The ECB’s net profit was distributed to the euro area national central banks (NCBs).
-German economists skeptical over Brexit timetable
German economists are skeptical about the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, according to results of the latest Economists Panel conducted by the Ifo Institute and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Seventy percent of survey participants believe the British government’s two-year timetable for negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union is unrealistic.
Only 21 percent of the German 125 economics professors surveyed believe that a deal can be negotiated within the next two years, while the remainder is unsure.