The latest word on the euro zone’s economic recovery from the European Central Bank is for improvement in the second half of this year.
The ECB’s monthly bulletin said that recovery will continue next year but will be gradual. At the same time, ECB Executive Board member Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell said the worst of the global recession is behind us. Economists expect the region to have returned to growth in the third quarter. One reason for that is that industrial production in the euro zone rose, month-on-month, for the fifth straight month in September. It was up by 0.3 percent from August but still almost 13 percent lower than September last year. Some areas still lag however, Spain’s economy is forecast to have contracted in the third quarter, based on data already in. The collapse of the property market has killed a decade long housing and shopping boom there. Much of the country’s near 20 percent jobless rate is made of low-skilled workers from the construction and service sector.