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|Comment: the storm battering European bank|
|Monday, 15 February 2016|
Tahmina Mannan from ratings and research firm FE says: There is a storm battering European banks’ shares, which is making the euro area’s economy look less than resilient. Since the recovery from the protracted, double-dip recession began some three years ago, the euro area’s fastest quarterly growth rate has been a measly 0.5 per cent – achieved at the start of 2015. It then slowed to 0.3% in the third quarter; and, today’s fourth-quarter figure is not expected to be much different.
"If today’s figures remain similar, it will leave output still below its pre-crisis peak in early 2008. Setbacks to French, German and Italian industrial production in December suggest that growth could be slower still.
"All of this will intensify pressure on the European Central Bank to conjure a pre-Easter rabbit from the hat when policymakers meet in March.
"Unfortunately for the ECB - the favourite trick, pushing interest rates even further into negative territory, now doesn’t look as bright.
"Negative rates are squeezing banks’ profits, contributing to the sell-off—and as with most things in the markets – is indirectly hurting the economy, too."
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