Market Overview

European Companies Power Through Economic Hardship

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European Companies Power Through Economic Hardship

Although data from Europe has produced increasingly worrying reports that suggest the region’s economy is falling off track, European businesses are taking advantage of improving customer demand and using this time as an opportunity to invest in future growth.

Online Shopping Scales Up

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is expanding its EU operations as demand for the online marketplace’s goods increases. The company added 6,000 new jobs in several countries last year, its largest hiring spree since the business opened in 1998.

Department store chain House of Fraser and popular supermarket franchise Waitrose recently announced that they are both looking to use extra cash from better-than-expected holiday sales to increase their online presence in the coming year.

Manufacturing Soars

Manufacturing companies also ramped up production and higher margins made operations all the more profitable. Airbus reported a record-breaking year in 2014, having secured 1,456 new aircraft orders and delivering 629.

Car makers like Daimler AG and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) have seen a marked increase in demand as lower gasoline prices have made the purchase of new cars more appealing to the masses. Fiat recently shut down several plants due to falling domestic demand, but the company announced that it would add 1,500 new jobs in Southern Italy this year in order to meet growing external demand for its vehicles.

What The Future Holds

The rebound of European companies confirms what some have been expecting; that deflation and low oil prices have been a positive influence on business performance. Many see the weaker euro coupled with what economists believe will be an extended period with low crude prices becoming a major driver for eurozone business throughout 2015.

 

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