Renewed tensions in sovereign-debt markets, high oil prices and decelerating world output growth have all contributed to a sharp loss of confidence towards the end of 2011 and the subsequent output contraction in the EU. Strong policy actions and major advancements in the EU institutional framework have averted a far worse outcome and brought about an easing of financial market tensions as well as a stabilisation in confidence at the beginning of 2012. However, looming uncertainty about economic prospects, re-ignited stress in sovereign-bond markets and concerns about the banking sector are still weighing on economic and financial conditions, albeit with large cross-country divergences.
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|ISBN 978-92-79-22818-6 (online)|