Business World

Thursday 18 January 2018

Eurozone growth revival ‘imperative’

Eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels today to discuss Greece's debt. Photo: Reuters
Eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels today to discuss Greece's debt. Photo: Reuters

The eurozone must take coordinated action to revive economic growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said today in a strongly worded statement that cited the need to repair bank balance sheets, advance a banking union and support demand.

"Growth remains weak and unemployment is at a record high. Concerted policy actions to restore financial sector health and complete the banking union are essential," the IMF said in a regular assessment of the currency bloc's economy.

"The centrifugal forces across the euro area remain serious and are pulling down growth everywhere," it said in a statement.

The eurozone economy has been battered by a severe sovereign debt crisis that has required massive bailouts of several of its smaller members, with Greece securing a €6.8bn lifeline on Monday.

The IMF said the threat to the survival of the single currency evident 12 months ago had been beaten back by the European Central Bank, which announced it could intervene directly to stabilise bond markets, as well as other steps.

But it viewed this progress as insufficient to declare the crisis over, and urged eurozone leaders to stay focused on the urgent need to combat record-high unemployment, which risks the long-term economic and political health of the entire region.

"Reviving growth and employment is imperative. This requires actions on multiple fronts .... A piecemeal approach, on the other hand, could further undermine confidence and leave the euro area vulnerable to renewed stress."

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business