The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on Wednesday that it will halve its bond buys to 15 billion Euros (from the current 30 billion Euros) a month from October then shut the programme at the end of the year.
ECB’s balance sheet has increased by 2 trillion Euros since 2015 when it announced its bond buying programme. 2-year yields for most of the Eurozone countries are currently negative and 10-year yields in most cases are lower than that of the United States. The European Central Bank (ECB) is by far the biggest holder of European bonds and the biggest (almost 90%) buyer of the weaker Eurozone (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece) countries debt since 2015. The ECB balance sheet is now over 4.5 trillion Euros, some 45% of Eurozone GDP.
The Euro Area unemployment rate was 8.5% in April 2018, down from 8.6% in March 2018 and from 9.2% in April 2017. This is the lowest since December 2008 but still more than double of the US unemployment rate of 3.9% reported in April (the US unemployment rate further fell to 3.8% in May). The EU28 unemployment rate was 7.1% in April 2018, stable compared with March 2018 and down from 7.8% in April 2017. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since September 2008.
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Parts of the European Union have seen GDP per capita shrink between 2007 and 2017 and the overall compounded annual growth rate for the European Union was just 1.2%
GDP growth for the European Union between 2007 and 2017 adjusted for inflation was negative
Banks in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Italy have a non-performing loan ratio of over 10% a decade on from the financial crisis and have only provisioned around 50% of the losses
The European Central Bank (ECB) is by far the biggest holder of European bonds and has a balance sheet of €4.5 trillion or some 45% of the GDP of the Eurozone
18 of the 28 countries that are part of the European Union have seen house prices fall between 2008 and 2017
Greece has been the worst affected country, with its stock market down 85% since 2007, GDP per capita down 22% since 2007, house prices down 43% since 2008 and banks in Greece currently have a non-performing loan ratio of 42%
Eurozone Debt as % of GDP is gradually falling but is still historically high
Since the financial crisis of 2008, economic uncertainty has seen falling fertility rates for the European Union with population now set to fall over the coming decades