Eurozone Not Improving Yet – Russian Economics Ministry

MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) – Rising economic sentiment indexes in the eurozone and the European Union are a positive sign, but it is too early to speak of an economic recovery there, Russia’s Economics Ministry said in a monitoring report on Monday.

The negative trends in the currency group stopped worsening at the start of this year, but there are no signs yet of a steady improvement, the report said.

“The industrial index was actually unchanged in the eurozone and the European Union in January and the situation in industry remains unstable. Tentatively, it can be said that the negative processes are continuing to bottom out but it is early to speak of the start of a recovery.”

The report points to a fall in GDP in Britain, France Germany and Spain at the end of last year and also a decline in eurozone lending.

“In December 2012, lending in the eurozone continued to fall steadily, primarily in…lending to non-financial firms.”

Mortgage lending continued to grow weakly and money supply growth in the eurozone slowed significantly, the ministry report said.

“As the situation has stabilized to some extent, the ECB is tightening its policy, despite liquidity support measures and other methods of making lending easier. But what is alarming is the fall in stimuli for lending by banks, customers and especially the non-financial sector. This trend is postponing the turning point for the recovery to commence, for an indefinite period,” the report said.

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