Will 2018 finally be the year that the Eurozone leaves behind it, almost a decade of not only financial, but political instability? Projections in answer to this very question are quite contradictory, to say the least.
Over the past eight years, Europeans chose to embrace an optimistic outlook, while the IMF (International Monetary Fund) chose a more realistic approach regarding prospects, while still trying not to be too pessimistic. This is the trend that appears to be on course for this year.
The IMF prefers to avoid overly-triumphant comments regarding the end of the Eurozone’s financial crisis, warning that political and external risks, amongst them possible reform challenges, may still be on the horizon. For the most part, European leaders are trying to maintain a confident stance on what could be next for the Eurozone, after so many years of economic turmoil.
Still, there’s one thing the markets agree on: the short and long-term future of the Eurozone heavily depends on the European Union’s ability to defeat possible risks, at least on a political level, by the end of 2018. Having said that, political uncertainty in Germany still persists, where coalition talks have yet to bear fruit; Italy’s impending elections raising the question “which direction will the country take?” and, of course, Greece, with its massive debt nowhere near being settled.
As if internal turmoil wasn’t enough, Europe has also had to deal with an unpredictable Donald Trump, whose stance on trading policies has done nothing but provoke tension between the EU and US.
But let’s talk present facts. The Eurozone is currently growing at a pace of around 2.5%. The fastest rate of economic expansion we’ve seen in, actually exactly a decade ago (since Q4 2007).
As a consequence, we’ve seen a sharp decrease in unemployment figures — and an overall rise in employment — which, added together with the distinct drop in immigration numbers, has provided a shield of sorts for moderate governments against populist challengers.
The improvement is far-reaching and so maybe even viable in the medium term. With multiple financial news reports suggesting the same, perhaps the ongoing optimism is still justified!
This article is for educational and informative purposes only and should not be considered as investment or trading advice.