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No Time for America to Play Ostrich with Europe's Economic Implosion

Some American economic observers view the huge economic problems of Europe as "over there" and contained within the borders of the eurozone.

But if history is a guide, that view could prove wrong.

European deflation has arrived in the U.S. before. Is history set to repeat? Consider what's been recently happening economically in the European Union.

France experienced a second consecutive quarter of contraction, the widely accepted definition of a recession, of 0.2 percent. Germany essentially marked time, with growth of only 0.1 percent. The economy of the overall union, made up of 27 nations, shrank 0.1 percent.

Eurostat said it was the first time the euro zone had contracted for six consecutive quarters since the creation of the single currency in 1999.

New York Times, May 15, 2013

An Italian publication provides a vivid look at Italy's economic dilemma.

Each day 134 shops, restaurants and bars close in recession-hit Italy, retail association Confesercenti said on [June 19]. Confesercenti, which represents small and medium-sized businesses in the retail and tourism sectors, said 224,000 enterprises had closed their shutters since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008.

"It's a massacre," said Confesercenti President Marco Venturi.

Ansa.it, June 19

And it appears Europe's economic slump continues.

Euro Zone Set to Keep Shrinking

An indicator that has correctly recorded contractions in the euro zone suggests the currency area's economy shrank for a seventh straight quarter, extending its longest postwar slump.

The Wall Street Journal, June 28

And now, in the United States, Q1 gross domestic product (GDP) growth has just been revised downward -- for a third time.

A dramatic downgrade of U.S. economic growth in the first quarter revealed the economy's lingering weakness...

Gross domestic product grew at just a 1.8 percent annualized pace in the first quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said on [June 26], revising down its earlier estimate of 2.4 percent growth. Economists had expected no change in the BEA's third effort at estimating GDP, and such sharp revisions are rare in a third estimate.

Huffington Post, June 27

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