Eurozone Recession Could Be the Longest in the Currency's History
The euro slipped below $1.30 over the weekend and began Monday morning trading at $1.2987 as markets prepared for a host of economic indicators to be released this week.
Most notably, Eurostat will release the region's first quarter GDP data, due out at 11:00 on May 15th. The Luxembourg statistics office will also publish a detailed report that includes March trade figures and April inflation on Thursday.
The GDP data is not expected to lift eurozone spirits after the two day Group of Seven finance ministers meeting ended on a sour note over the weekend. UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne commented that region's growth outlook was uncertain in his concluding remarks on Saturday, which added downward pressure to the common currency.
Leading up to the release of the GDP data, Bloomberg reported that economists are expecting the data to confirm speculation that the eurozone is currently in the middle of the longest recession the region has suffered since the euro's creation.
A Bloomberg News survey showed the median estimate of 39 economists' forecasts at a 0.1 percent decline, which would be the sixth straight quarterly decline for the region.
With record high unemployment and investor confidence at a low, eurozone leaders are working to find a balance between austerity and growth. At 3 pm on Monday, the region's finance ministers will meet to discuss and review the Cypriot and Spanish bailouts and possibly sign off on another aid payment to Greece.
The ministers are also expected to discuss the current economic climate following the European Commission's revised 2013 forecast, which predicts a 0.4 percent contraction.
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