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Eurozone finance ministers convene for talks amid economic slowdown fears


Eurozone finance ministers convene for talks amid economic slowdown fears

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.

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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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