The 16-member euro zone might still be in the grip of a severe economic slump, but signs have emerged that the downturn that has engulfed the currency bloc in recent months could be reaching its low point. The latest batch of evidence that the round of hefty global interest rate cuts, falling oil prices and government stimulus packages are helping to raise hopes of an economic pickup later in the year came Friday, Jan. 23, with the release of two key euro-zone indicators. Better times ahead? The purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) for the euro zone’s manufacturing and service sectors posted surprise increases in January. Additionally, Belgium’s key economic sentiment indicator rose slightly this month, ending four months of steep falls. Analysts had forecast a decline in the indicator. Euro zone countries are in it together — for better or worse “Was this the bottom?” asked ING economist Carsten Brzeski following the release of the PMIs, which came amid the release of a slew of key economic sentiment indicators. Many economists believe that the euro zone economy possibly reached its nadir as 2008 came to a close and expect the currency bloc to gain traction in the second half of the… Read full this story
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