Sunday 4 December, Italians will vote on a constitutional reform that should support policymaking in Italy. Yet the reform is not without downsides. The suggestion that a 'No'-vote would put Italy on a path towards leaving the Eurozone is wrong.
In this Special we focus on political exit contagion risk of ‘Brexit’ to other EU countries. We look at the current political landscape in the EU and the rising trend of Euroscepticism. Although we still consider a repeat of ‘Brexit’ more unlikely than likely in all member states, some countries are certainly worth watching in the year ahead.
Economic Comment Dutch version
Eurostat released a preliminary flash GDP estimate this morning, coming in at 0.3% quarterly growth in the second quarter of 2016. This figure was in line with market expectations.
Luxembourg continued to show robust growth in 2015. New fiscal and financial regulation is heading towards Luxembourg, challenging its financial sector-driven growth model.
Portugal continued to grow in 2015, after exiting the EU/IMF bailout programme in 2014, which signals a substantial increase of economic and financial stability. However, reform momentum is weak while the country still has many vulnerabilities.
The Swiss export sector was affected by a sharp appreciation of the Swiss Franc (CHF) following the Swiss central bank’s (SNB) decision to scrap the currency ceiling early 2015. However, economic growth held up and we expect a rebound of economic growth and exports this year.
Italian banking shares dropped 30% in the first months of 2016. Policy makers have recently taken measures to revive the banking sector, but also to improve governability of the country. Measures will be partly effective in reviving the economy.
Ireland posted very strong growth of 7.8% last year which supports deleveraging and house prices but asset quality of banks remains poor and could hurt banks and the government in the future. As possibly worst affected, Ireland is closely following the Brexit debate.
Special Dutch version
In recent years, the currency union has been strengthened, but several important steps still need to be taken. We put forward some recommendations in the field of economic and fiscal policy, the banking union and the capital markets union.