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Third, official statistics have exaggerated the slowdown. GDP figures for the first quarter were flattered by the mild winter, which boosted construction, and an early Easter, which helped tourism and travel. Smooth out the data and they are consistent with long-term eurozone economic stability, although previously one might have used adjectives such as "sclerotic".

I remember rather clearly how the very strong growth figures for the first quarter were described as a temporary aberratino that would not last. I don't remember the same critical note being given to this quarter's numbers, seen immediately as proof of the eurozone's crash. The fact is, taken together, you have rather normal numbers.

Tenth, global financial market turmoil shows few signs of wreaking significant economic damage directly on the eurozone, where the financial services sector has not been an important driver of growth. Bank lending to businesses remains strong and eurozone consumers' finances, generally, are not over-stretched.

Eleventh, no fundamental flaws have been found in the main engines of eurozone growth (unlike in banking). Economists once questioned whether manufacturing had a future in high-cost Germany, but nobody does nowadays.

In other words: the eurozone does not suffer from the Anglo Disease, and still produces stuff which the rest of the world is interested in buying, even when expensive. That does not sound like doom.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 05:18:40 AM EST

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