Eurozone finance ministers convene for talks amid economic slowdown fears

Finance ministers from the 19 Eurozone countries will gather in Luxembourg today for discussions on spurring investment and innovation amid

eurozone finance ministers

Photo: Amelie Querfurth/AFP/Getty

Finance ministers from the 19 Eurozone countries will gather in Luxembourg today for discussions on spurring investment and innovation amid fears of a slowdown and possible recession.

Eurozone growth was slightly stronger than expected in the three months to September, expanding by 0.2%—unchanged since the previous quarter.

While the economy did not slow further in the third quarter, the estimate has sparked concerns that the European Central Bank-led stimulus has not done enough to boost demand. The ECB revived its stimulus program last month after a decline in inflation and GDP growth earlier in the year suggested the bloc was heading for a period of contraction.

Aside from the usual suspects of Brexit uncertainty and the US-China trade war weighing on the Eurozone’s economy, the attention of today’s talks will also focus on reviving export-focused countries such as Germany and Italy—two of the Eurozone’s largest economies—which remain on the cusp of recession.

While recently installed ECB President Christine Lagarde has opted to delay further stimulus until after Germany officially enters recession, today’s meeting will likely stress fiscal stimulus to avoid a long-term period of stagnation. Analysts expect the Eurozone economy will expand at 0.1% over the next 12 months, meaning uncertainty will continue to heap pressure on policymakers to act.

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