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Current Events - Research Paper Example

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Introduction The European Economic Community or the Eurozone has been in the news lately due to its continuing financial and fiscal troubles, an offshoot of the earlier American sub-prime crisis in which its mortgage market had practically collapsed. The contagion had spread to Europe and it is now facing its worst crisis ever since the union began…
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Download file to see previous pages The two strongest European economies within the zone, namely that of Germany and France, do not agree on what actions to take to prevent the entire continent from falling into a recession. In this regard, recession is broadly defined as two (2) successive quarters of economic decline if it is based on the real gross domestic product or GDP. (My own definition of a recession is when a lot of working people lose their jobs and those seeking new employment, like the new graduates, cannot get hired). However, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) of the United States of America defines it more precisely, based on a number of other economic indicators such as the level of employment, industrial activity, real incomes, wholesale prices and retail sales. In other words, the NBER uses overall business activities as an indicator, the time when business reaches its peak and starts to decline. It is the business cycle dating committee or BCDC that is tasked to approximate the date when a recession has started (NBER, 2010, p. 1); a recession is usually accompanied by rising unemployment and a rise in excess capacity in the manufacturing sectors or other industries of the country due to weak consumer demand. The magazine article discussed in this paper had specifically mentioned this two prime economic indicators to portray the worsening conditions within the European economic zone. Discussion The news article which serves as the basis for the discussion of recession in Europe in this paper is entitled “The euro crisis: a real mess” that was written by R. A. and published in the on-line or digital version of the Economist last July 2, 2012. In the article, the author talked on a worsening crisis within the European zone because of the on-going recession that is expected to get worse within the next few months. The unemployment in Europe had inched up, with Euro-wide unemployment rate going up last May to 11.1% with the unemployment figures for Spain at much worse rates of 24.6% for adults and at over 52% for Spanish youths. Spain is one of those countries included in the PIIGS mentioned earlier (Dorfman, 2010, p. 1) which engaged in great spending even beyond its normal capacity to pay and is now suffering for its profligate ways. All the five countries included in the PIGGS classification had borrowed way too much and are now in real great danger of defaulting on their sovereign debts. The other countries in Europe which are now in recession are suffering from same twin problems of too much debts and high deficits which does not leave much room for economic recovery except through harsh cost-cutting acts but are not politically well-advised especially during an election year. The same article on the on-going euro crisis mentioned how manufacturing activity had declined by 1% in the second quarter this year, with the rate of decline expected to accelerate in the later part or the second half of this year. Manufacturing is one of broad economic indicators used to measure or approximate a recessionary climate, and this is shown by the decline in many European countries, such as not only in France and the Netherlands but also in Spain, Italy and even Germany, which is considered as the strongest European economy so far. Both Greece and Spain are now in depression, which is worse than a recession (a decline of above 10% in GDP). The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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