EFN Report Spring 2012: Economic Outlook for the Euro Area in 2012 and 2013
In the first months of 2012 there were some mild signs of improvement in the world economy, to a large degree due to political measures taken in the euro area at the end of 2011. In particular, the ECB secured financing of banks by offering liquidity for as longs as three years and by easing standards for collateral. However, the southern countries of the euro area will stay in recession for most of the year 2012: planned fiscal consolidation in Spain and Italy has a magnitude of about 3% relative to GDP, in Portugal and Greece the restriction is even larger. The structural reforms need time to take beneficial effects, and the real sector is largely out of reach of the expansive monetary policy.