PRAGUE, May 15 (Reuters) – Hungary’s economy unexpectedly
broke out of recession in the first quarter and Romania expanded
faster than forecast, but their regional peer the Czech Republic
plunged deeper into its longest downturn in two decades.
The European Union’s developing members are struggling with
varying success to return to the pace of growth they need to
catch up with the richer West, having been dragged back into
double-dip contractions by the euro zone debt crisis.
BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymakers played down on Friday prospects of the bank cutting its deposit rate below zero any time soon, saying it was just one of several possible treatments for the sickly euro zone economy.
ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday the ECB was “technically ready” to shift the deposit rate into negative territory, meaning it would start charging lenders for holding their money overnight – a thorny issue for already strained financial markets.
PRAGUE (Reuters) – Czech and Polish manufacturing contracted for the 13th month running in April, putting more pressure on reluctant policymakers to spur their economies.
Facing pressure abroad from the slump in their main export market, the euro zone, and at home from falling domestic demand, emerging Europe’s two largest economies are battling a bleak mid-term outlook of weak growth and falling inflation.