Standard & Poor’s (S&P) forecast a gloomy outlook for Europe this week. The global ratings service predicts that GDP growth will decline by 0.8% in the euro zone in 2012 and remain flat in 2013. The estimates are slightly worse than projections from a month ago showing a 0.7% drop for 2012.
Jean-Michel Six, S&P’s chief economist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says:
Recent economic indicators continue to paint a bleak picture for Europe. The data are confirming our view that the region is entering a new period of recession, after three quarters of negative or flat growth since the final quarter of 2010.
Economist Six point out a few bright spots: Switzerland, Sweden, and Belgium have shown “some resilience”. (Please note that only Belgium is actually in the euro zone).
Back to the bleak: Recessions in Italy and Spain are deepening, according to Six. France is on a no-growth path, Germany on a downturn, and outside the zone, a softening of emerging markets appears more protracted. And that’s all we have to report from Economist Six.