Thursday 17 April 2014

It's dim, but the gloom is beginning to lift

THE Punt may be about to contradict the somewhat negative stance taken in one of the other contributions here today about the ESRI's economic outlook.

But it is hard to be completely gloomy when the euro hits a 14-month high against the dollar. Even the Germans are upbeat, and we see signs that European banks may have turned the corner, bolstered by hopes that the worst of the crisis could be behind us. Could the single currency be at a turning point?

It's fair to say that about a year ago the very survival of the euro was being regularly questioned. Those worrying predictions have diminished.

Earlier this week, Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere echoed comments made a few weeks ago in Dublin by European Council President Herman van Rompuy that the worst was over for the eurozone.

They have a vested interest in making such pronouncements, of course. But if accurate, it would be hugely significant for Ireland, whose recovery depends so largely on external factors.

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