Euro-Area Economy Shrank Less Than Forecast from 2020
The euro-area economy shrank less than expected at the end of last year, though it remains on the verge of a double-dip recession amid a slow rollout of coronavirus vaccines, reported Bloomberg.
Business confidence has already taken a hit. Sentiment in euro-area retail trade and services -- the sectors most affected by lockdowns -- slipped at the start of the year. The International Monetary Fund has warned that the region is set to recover more slowly from the crisis than other economies around the world.
European Central Bank officials including President Christine Lagarde have promised to bolster support if needed. For now though, they argue, a 1.85 trillion-euro (.23 trillion) bond-buying plan, generous long-term loans to banks and record low interest rates are sufficient to ensure financing conditions remain favorable.
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