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Eurozone Ernst & Young Eurozone ForecastWinter edition — December 2012 Austria Belgium Cyprus Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Portugal Slovakia Slovenia Spain Ernst & Young Eurozone Forecast — Winter edition December 2012Outlook for Greece17 Eurozone countriesFinlandEstoniaIrelandNetherlands BelgiumGermany Luxembourg Slovakia AustriaFranceSlovenia ItalySpain GreecePortugalMalta CyprusPublished in collaboration with Highlights Revised bailout program buys more time for Greece• An overhaul of Greece’s current bailout program was finally announced at the end of November, after lengthy negotiations with the troika of official creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission (EC). • The revised program has three key features. Firstly, fiscal targets have been relaxed. Secondly, a mixture of measures have been agreed to plug the near-term funding gap and lower Greece’s debt burden in the medium term. These measures include lower interest rates and extended maturities on loans, a moratorium on interest rates and a debt buyback operation. Thirdly, the conditionality of the program has been enhanced through the employment of automatic correction mechanisms.• After ratification, the agreed measures will allow a staggered release of longoverdue bailout funds totaling €43.7 billion. The Greek Government needs these funds to settle arrears and recapitalize its banking system. • Such an overhaul is overdue and is a step in the right direction. But while the measures should keep the risk of a Greek exit from the euro at bay for the next year, they do not resolve the medium-term debt crisis. We expect more substantial debt relief will be needed in the future to permanently secure Greece’s position in the Eurozone, with official sector writedowns still a real possibility.• In November, the Greek parliament passed a much-delayed package of €13.5 billion in austerity measures for 2013–14. It includes cuts to pensions, salaries and benefits, as well as a package of labor market reforms. Official lenders have hinted that further measures totaling €4 billion may be needed in 2015–16. • This fiscal austerity is expected to undermine any hopes of early recovery. We expect GDP to decline by over 4% in 2013 after an estimated 6% contraction in 2012.• The key risk to Greece’s debt arithmetic is its alarming economic contraction. In the third quarter of this year, output was down 6.9% on the year after a 6.3% fall in Q2. Unemployment is now at 26% and continues to hit new records.Ernst & Young Eurozone Forecast Winter edition December 2012 | Greece1 Revised bailout program buys more time for GreeceNew bailout terms finally agreed … An overhaul of Greece’s bailout program was finally announced at the end of November, after lengthy negotiations between the troika of official creditors (the IMF, the ECB and the EC).The revised program has three key features. Firstly, fiscal targets have been relaxed in the light of Greece’s inability to meet existing targets. A primary fiscal surplus (i.e., before interest payments on debt are taken into account) of 4.5% is now to be achieved by 2016 rather than 2014, and Greece is required to achieve a debt-to-GDP ratio of 124% rather than 120% by 2020. Secondly, a mixture of measures were agreed to plug the near-term funding gap, which resulted from missed targets, and to lower the debt burden in the medium term. These measures include cuts to interest rates and extensions of maturities on loans, a moratorium on interest rate payments and the repatriation of profits made on bailout loans back to Greece.A debt buyback operation designed to allow Greece to retire its debt at a discount was also underway at the time of writing. The third key feature of the revised program is enhanced conditionality, with automatic correction mechanisms in place so that a shortfall on one target would have to be made up for elsewhere. The agreed measures will now need to be ratified by national parliaments. This will then pave the way for the release of long-overdue bailout funds. Some €34 billion in funding is now expected to be disbursed by midDecember, with several tranches worth a cumulative €9.3 billion to follow in the first quarter of 2013. This injection of cash into the economy is sorely needed, and will be used to settle government arrears and recapitalize the banks, which should ease tight credit conditions.… keeping risk of euro exit at bay for now …But the revised bailout will not resolve Greece’s medium-term debt sustainability problem. The program still requires stringent fiscal tightening, to the tune of 6% of GDP, over the next four years. Whether this target is realistic given the social and political limits to austerity in Greece remains to be seen. Furthermore, weak economic growth remains the major downside risk to the debt position — as demonstrated by the slippages on targets so far this year. As such, we expect more substantial debt relief will be needed to hit the target of a 124% debt-to-GDP ratio by 2020, which was set out by the new program, and to permanently secure Greece’s position in the Eurozone. The possibility of official sector write-downs of debt in the future cannot therefore be ruled out and it is important to note that the current agreement does not close the door to such measures.Table 1Greece (annual percentage changes unless specified)Source: Oxford Economics 2011Private consumption20122013201420152016-7.2GDP-5.9-4.3-1.11.01.5-7.1-8.8-4.4-2.10.10.7-20.8-20.2-17.60.84.86.2Stockbuilding (% of GDP)-2.2-0.50.20.50.50.5Government consumption-9.1-6.7-7.7-4.1-0.71.2Fixed investmentExports of goods and services-0.9-6.21.03.94.63.6Imports of goods and services-8.0-15.8-5.90.52.63.2Consumer prices Unemployment rate (level)3.11.00.30.10.40.817.724.227.828.427.827.6 -3.5Current account balance (% of GDP)-9.9-4.8-4.6-4.0-3.7Government budget (% of GDP)-9.4-8.3-6.2-5.4-5.6-5.7170.6166.0177.7183.3184.8185.01.20.90.80.80.80.8120.8115.4115.3112.9110.2110.31.391.281.271.211.171.17Government debt (% of GDP) ECB main refinancing rate (%) Euro effective exchange rate (1995 = 100) Exchange rate ($ per €)2Ernst & Young Eurozone Forecast Winter edition December 2012 | Greece Weak growth key risk to debt arithmeticOn the consumer side, fresh austerity measures will further squeeze incomes, increase job losses and depress consumer spending. Alongside this weakness in demand, prolonged uncertainty will constrain business confidence and tight liquidity conditions for the foreseeable future will also impede business investment. As a result, we expect GDP to contract by 4.3% in 2013 and do not foresee a return to growth until 2015. This is a more pessimistic view than official projections, which see growth resuming in 2014. Unemployment is projected to peak at over 28% in 2013–14.These measures will continue to weaken an already battered economy that is now in its fifth year of recession. Preliminary figures show that the economic contraction accelerated in the third quarter of 2012, with output down 6.9% on the year after a 6.3% fall in the second quarter. Unemployment has continued to rise, hitting a new record of 26% on the International Labor Organization measure in September — now the highest rate in the Eurozone.A key constraint on Greece’s recovery will be lingering uncertainty over its long-term future in the Eurozone, despite the overhauled bailout. As long as Greece’s membership of the monetary union is in question, incentives for both domestic and foreign investment will remain subdued while those for tax evasion and capital flight will remain high, limiting the extent of any possible economic rebound.Figure 1Figure 2Bond spread and stock marketGovernment deficit and debtIn November, the Greek parliament only narrowly passed a muchdelayed package of €13.5 billion in austerity measures for 2013–14. These measures were a prerequisite for Greece’s continued receipt of bailout funds and include fresh cuts to pensions, salaries and benefits, as well as a package of labor market liberalization measures. Furthermore, it is not clear that Greece has had its last dose of austerity. Official lenders have hinted that another €4 billion in savings may need to be found in 2015 or 2016.31 Dec 80 = 100% of GDP%3,200% of GDP45-10 -12 -145-160800400Source: Haver Analytics-8101,2002010-6152009-4-18160 140 120 100Stock price (left-hand side)1,600180202,000-2252,40040302,80020035Bond spread (right-hand side)020112012Government debt (right-hand side)80 60 40Government deficit (left-hand side)20 Forecast 19951997199920012003200520072009201120130 2015Source: Oxford Economics Ernst & Young Eurozone Forecast Winter edition December 2012 | Greece3 Revised bailout program buys more time for GreeceExport performance critical in the coming yearsWhy export performance has remained poor compared to the rest of the periphery — despite Greece seeing the largest downward adjustment in prices — is therefore a key question. The answer to this will shed light on the timing and the extent of Greece’s recovery in the coming years.Figure 3Figure 4Nevertheless, we continue to believe that, given the likely contagion effects to the Eurozone periphery that would ensue, a Greek exit will be so harmful that Eurozone policy-makers will do whatever it takes to avert it, including easing the austerity demands. In this scenario, the key question becomes when and how the Greek economy begins to recover. With fiscal adjustment crippling domestic demand, exports will need to drive growth in the future. To this end, there have been timid signs that painful wage-cutting measures are bearing some fruit. Industrial production rose 2.8% on the year in August — the first rise since April 2008 and one that was led by exports. But production fell again sharply in September, suggesting that competitiveness gains have not been cemented.Real GDP and employmentContributions to GDP growth% year% year%10GDP (left-hand side)831Forecast264ForecastDomestic demand66GDP4 222100 -2-216-4Net exports-4 -6Employment (right-hand side)11-86-6-12-10-8 -10 20022004200620082010201220142016Source: Oxford Economics 48Ernst & Young Eurozone Forecast Winter edition December 2012 | Greece199019931996Source: Oxford Economics199920022005200820112014 Follow the Eurozone’s progress online Please visit www.ey.com/eurozone to: • View video footage of macroeconomists and Ernst & Young professionals discussing the future of the Eurozone and its impact on businesses • Use our dynamic Eurochart to compare country data over a five-year period • Download and print the Ernst & Young Eurozone Forecast and forecasts for the 17 member statesOr follow our ongoing commentary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EYnews Ernst & Young Assurance | Tax | Transactions | Advisory About Ernst & YoungAbout Oxford EconomicsErnst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 to provide independent forecasting and analysis tailored to the needs of economists and planners in government and business. It is now one of the world’s leading providers of economic analysis, advice and models, with over 300 clients including international organizations, government departments and central banks around the world, and a large number of multinational blue-chip companies across the whole industrial spectrum.Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit www.ey.com.© 2012 EYGM Limited. All Rights Reserved. EYG no. AU1385 In line with Ernst & Young’s commitment to minimize its impact on the environment, this document has been printed on paper with a high recycled content. This publication contains information in summary form and is therefore intended for general guidance only. It is not intended to be a substitute for detailed research or the exercise of professional judgment. Neither EYGM Limited nor any other member of the global Ernst & Young organization can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this publication. On any specific matter, reference should be made to the appropriate advisor. ED None EMEIA MAS 1247.1112Oxford Economics commands a high degree of professional and technical expertise, both in its own staff of over 70 professionals based in Oxford, London, Belfast, Paris, the UAE, Singapore, New York and Philadelphia, and through its close links with Oxford University and a range of partner institutions in Europe and the US. Oxford Economics’ services include forecasting for 190 countries, 85 sectors and over 2,500 cities and sub-regions in Europe and Asia; economic impact assessments; policy analysis; and work on the economics of energy and sustainability. The forecasts presented in this report are based on information obtained from public sources that we consider to be reliable but we assume no liability for their completeness or accuracy. The analysis presented in this report is for information purposes only and Oxford Economics does not warrant that its forecasts, projections, advice and/or recommendations will be accurate or achievable. Oxford Economics will not be liable for the contents of any of the foregoing or for the reliance by readers on any of the foregoing.
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