Eurozone GDP sluggish again as pressure builds on Draghi

 
Billy Ehrenberg
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Growth is sluggish again in the Eurozone and beyond

If Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank (ECB) left investors frustrated by failing to hint at plans for quantitative easing yesterday, that frustration will only grow as the latest Eurozone GDP figures, published today, again revealed the weakness in the single market.

GDP growth for the third quarter was again weak, with quarterly growth for the 18-nation bloc bang on expectations at a somnolent 0.2 per cent and growth in the EU28 barely better, at 0.3 per cent. Italy was bedding into recession as France continued to slumber.

The US is added for context

Some of the language used by the ECB in the press conference may have heartened investors: expanding the bank's balance sheet to €3tn is something the bank “intends” rather than merely “expects" to do.

There were, however, splits on the council as dovish members seemingly clashed with hawks who take the German line, suggesting quantitative easing could cause governments to renege on commitments to reform their economies. Draghi may have a fight on his hands: he said unanimity was not essential to the use of such measures.

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