The Euro Area Needs a Fiscal Union

2019-03-15T10:26:56-04:00February 21, 2018|

By Helge Berger, Giovanni Dell’Ariccia, and Maurice Obstfeld

February 21, 2018

Version in Français (French) 

Without more tangible elements of a fiscal union, the euro area will remain fundamentally vulnerable to shocks. (photo: iStock by GettyImages) .

The euro area is experiencing a robust recovery, but the architecture supporting Europe’s currency union remains incomplete and leaves the region vulnerable to future financial crises.

While substantial progress has been made […]

Banking Union Before Euro Adoption: Flak Jacket or Straitjacket?

2019-03-27T15:25:02-04:00August 19, 2015|

By John Bluedorn, Anna Ilyina and Plamen Iossifov

All European Union members, except Denmark and the United Kingdom, are expected under EU treaties to eventually adopt the euro. Six Central and Eastern EU members – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania – are yet to do so.

In the meantime, these countries have a decision to make: Should they opt in to the Banking Union before adopting the euro? Such a move may offer greater insurance against shocks, but at a certain cost to policy flexibility.  In a recent study, we explore […]

Investment in the Euro Area: Why Has It Been So Weak?

2017-04-14T01:48:04-04:00February 19, 2015|

By Bergljot Bjørnson BarkbuS. Pelin Berkmen, and Hanni Schölermann

Investment in the euro area, and particularly private investment, has not recovered since the onset of the global financial crisis.

In fact, the decline in investment has been much more drastic than in other financial crises; and is more in line with the most severe of these crises (see Chart 1). The October 2014 World Economic Outlook showed that many governments cut investment because their finances became strained during the crisis. In addition, housing investment collapsed in some countries, reflecting […]

Europe’s Economic Outlook

2017-04-14T02:02:25-04:00April 11, 2014|

moghadamsmallBy Reza Moghadam

Economic growth across Europe is slowly picking up, which is good news. But the recovery is still modest and measures to boost economic growth and create jobs are important.

Western Europe: picking up the pace

The recovery projected last October for the euro area has solidified. This is reflected in our revised forecasts—e.g., the 2014 forecast for the euro area is up from 1 percent last October to 1.2 percent now, with important upgrades in countries like Spain. These revisions reflect the stronger data flow on the […]

Europe’s Choice: Risk Stagnation or Pursue Integration

2017-04-14T02:15:43-04:00October 11, 2013|

Shafik 3By Nemat Shafik

Europe faces a stark choice: risk stagnation or pursue integration. It can continue to muddle through, and hope that growth in the world economy will eventually pick up enough steam to pull its economy out of the doldrums. Or it can make a decisive push to revitalize its economy and complete the reforms needed to achieve a fully integrated economic and monetary union

Five years into the crisis, recovery in the euro area remains fragile. Important actions at both the national and euro-wide levels have […]

A Missing Piece In Europe’s Growth Puzzle

2017-04-15T13:56:33-04:00March 5, 2013|

Even before the latest euro area GDP numbers and Italian elections cast a shadow over the continent, economists were struggling to reconcile the steady improvement in market sentiment with the more downbeat data on the economy, production, orders, and jobs. This video looks at this puzzle from a somewhat different perspective than the usual— we examine the role of household and corporate balance sheets in the countries under financial market stress and the implications for policy priorities.

We May Have Avoided the Cliffs, But We Still Face High Mountains

2017-04-15T13:57:41-04:00January 23, 2013|

Compared to where we were at the same time last year, acute risks have decreased. The United States has avoided the fiscal cliff, and the euro explosion in Europe did not occur. And uncertainty is lower. But we should be under no illusion. There remain considerable challenges ahead. And the recovery continues to be slow, indeed much too slow. Overall, these developments lead us to forecast 3.5 percent world growth for 2013.

Time Not On Our Side: Tough Decisions Needed to Strengthen Financial Stability

2017-04-15T14:01:30-04:00October 10, 2012|

As recognized in our Global Financial Stability Report, actions taken by the European Central Bank have helped remove investors’ worst fears. Now policymakers at both the national and euro area level will need to build on these. The stakes are high. For instance, if pressures continue, total assets of major banks in Europe could shrink by as much as $2.8 trillion, possibly leading to a contraction in credit supply in the "periphery" by 9 percent by the end of 2013.
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