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Think tanks predict three fates for Europe


THE Euroframe Group, which is made up of 10 economic forecasters, including the Economic and Social Research Institute, issued a report yesterday which effectively admitted that the think tanks had little idea what would happen to the continent's economy this year.

In a 46-page analysis, the think tanks considered three alternative scenarios. The central forecast was that the eurozone would "muddle through" the crisis and post growth of 0.8pc this year and 1.3pc in 2013.

While this was one outcome, the group warned the economy could contract by 2.2pc this year and 1pc in 2013 if the crisis deepened and "uncertainty about the sustainability of govern-ment debt continued".

"The unresolved debt crisis means that uncertainty regarding the outlook for the euro area economy is particularly acute this winter," the ESRI said.

Another scenario modelled the effect of 'decisive action' by policy makers, leading to a return of confidence in the ability of euro area governments to meet debt obligations. Under this scenario GDP would grow by 0.8pc this year and by 1.8pc in 2013.

Thomas Molloy

Indo Business