This week the European Central Bank revised down its 2013 growth prediction for the euro zone. It now expects an average contraction of 0.3%, rather than the 0.5% progression anticipated in the previous forecast published in September. The ECB has also indicated that the contraction for 2012 will likely be closer to 0.5% than to 0.4%, as was previously believed.
These figures did not have an immediate negative impact on the financial markets, which continued their upward progression in the days following the publication of the ECB’s projection. Yet in Germany, many businesses fear that the euro zone may endure another lasting recession, and are anxious to avoid a repeat of the 2008-09 pass, which saw the economy of the seventeen-member bloc contract for five consecutive quarters.
In an article published on Thursday, Die Welt newspaper summarised a feeling shared by many here in Germany. It noted that the uncertainty among both companies and private individuals over the state of the economy, largely a result of doubts over the handling of the European sovereign debt crisis, were “holding back investment, purchases and building projects”.