European Central Bank tones down growth outlook for 2012 and 2103 and raises inflation for both
Belgium’s economy contracted by less than initially estimated in the fourth quarter of 2011, but country was in recession in H2
Employment in Ireland rose for the first time in four years in the final quarter of 2011
Greek unemployment hits another record high in December and for the first time number of young people without a job outnumbers those in work
German industrial output bounced back in January on strong construction and manufacturing output, bolstering hopes it will miss recession
Irish PM says country will hold referendum on EU fiscal treaty
At this stage in the euro zone crisis, we probably don’t need to be reminded how uncompetitive the peripheral economies are. (Arguably, of course, they would not be economically peripheral if they were more competitive, but that is for tautologists to debate). The United Nations, in the form of UNCTAD, has just pinpointed another weakness, however — huge underperformance in foreign directed investing, or FDI.
The numbers it has just released only go as far as 2010, so the real crisis cauldron has yet to come. But they show that Greece and Italy have been punching way below their weight.