Hooray for Europe?

CAMBRIDGE: Europe's economy is clearly on the upswing: growth forecasts run at 3% and even higher rates are quite possible. The world economy looks better and even inside Europe, demand is rising. Plenty of reason, therefore, to be optimistic: say good-bye to global crisis, forget the risk of a stagnant Europe. But there is even more good news, promising perhaps to turn the current upswing into something more durable. For this, thank the often abused Euro, for it has anchored the once profligate nations of the Mediterranean in German-style monetary discipline.

But the most interesting new fact in European economics is surely the belief, hope, and perhaps reality, of economic restructuring on a variety of fronts. Governments have undertaken a few privatizations with radical consequences for competition. Take the case of Deutsche Telecom and the price wars it has incited. Young people are increasingly recognizing the dramatic importance of modern information technology and are finding their way both to the Internet and the Neumarkt, Germany's bid to inspire American-style venture capitalists.

Big companies, too, are in the game. Europe is abuzz with mergers not only to take advantage of Europe's broader economic space but also to confront tough competition in world markets. In sum, the old Continent is hot. No one can say how deep the changes will go, nor how fast they will shift Europe into the fast lane.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/UMGP5tB;
  1. An employee works at a chemical fiber weaving company VCG/Getty Images

    China in the Lead?

    For four decades, China has achieved unprecedented economic growth under a centralized, authoritarian political system, far outpacing growth in the Western liberal democracies. So, is Chinese President Xi Jinping right to double down on authoritarianism, and is the “China model” truly a viable rival to Western-style democratic capitalism?

  2. The assembly line at Ford Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

    Whither the Multilateral Trading System?

    The global economy today is dominated by three major players – China, the EU, and the US – with roughly equal trading volumes and limited incentive to fight for the rules-based global trading system. With cooperation unlikely, the world should prepare itself for the erosion of the World Trade Organization.

  3. Donald Trump Saul Loeb/Getty Images

    The Globalization of Our Discontent

    Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes.

  4. A general view of the Corn Market in the City of Manchester Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    A Better British Story

    Despite all of the doom and gloom over the United Kingdom's impending withdrawal from the European Union, key manufacturing indicators are at their highest levels in four years, and the mood for investment may be improving. While parts of the UK are certainly weakening economically, others may finally be overcoming longstanding challenges.

  5. UK supermarket Waring Abbott/Getty Images

    The UK’s Multilateral Trade Future

    With Brexit looming, the UK has no choice but to redesign its future trading relationships. As a major producer of sophisticated components, its long-term trade strategy should focus on gaining deep and unfettered access to integrated cross-border supply chains – and that means adopting a multilateral approach.

  6. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now