Commentary: Are They Calling Off Euro Zone Crisis Too Soon?

Aaron Johnson

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

During a speaking engagement with Japanese leaders, French President Francois Hollande is confident that Europe has averted the crisis.  While it’s true that efforts from the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund have been instrumental in keeping southern Europe solvent, there are still real concerns.

Unemployment and economic growth figures are disappointing.  The unemployment rate within theeuro-zone reached a record high during April at 12.2 percent.  Even with the very high unemployment rate, there were wide disparities among countries.  While Germany had a very low unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, Greece and Spain approached 25 percent.  Their economy is not much better with it shrinking by 0.2 percent, which was the sixth consecutive month of contraction.   Even, one of Europe’s strongest countries, Germany, expects little growth in the first quarter of 2013.  Both are strong signals of a steep recession.

In comparison, the U.S. has fared much better.  The U.S. economy grew at a rate of 2.4 percentduring the first quarter of 2013 and its unemployment rate is much lower at 7.6 percent as of May 2013.

Even though the U.S. economic prospects are not that bright, Europe’s performance pales in comparison.

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