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When will the Euro come of age?

10 May 2019
Charles Dumas
Chief Economist

Charles Dumas, Chief Economist at TS Lombard on Italexit – economics say perhaps yes, politics say no:

  • Real growth of EA per-head output has been less than in the UK & USA
  • Tight post-crisis budgeting has forced ultra-easy monetary policy
  • German fiscal deflation in 2002-05 instigated intra-EA cost imbalances
  • German fiscal tightening in 2011-13 worsened EA double-dip recession
  • Spain’s violent post-crisis labour cost adjustment not matched by Italy
  • 20-year excess of Italian labour costs over German were 13%-20%
  • Static in 1999-2008 – Italy’s 2018 productivity is now 3½% below 1998
  • Spain followed a text-book and successful Keynesian fiscal policy
  • On-trend EA growth incompatible with budget balance, 2% inflation
  • Popular standard of living rose far less than GDP – Italy’s is down 5%
  • Italy might leave the euro, but with damaging political ructions
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