Europe is now, as it never has been before, the continent of the damned. Damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. Market optimism was higher over night, and the traditional rally that followed wasn’t so much enthusiastic as it was a hay making par for the course type affair. Healthier German numbers, coupled with positive figures from the US earlier this week has some institutions rushing to be on the ‘nah we never thought there was going to be a double-dip anyway’ bandwagon.
But markets aren’t economies as a whole and while the markets are happy to jump at shadows when the news is good or bad, the underlying numbers and longer term trends aren’t looking very happy.
The following graphics from the Economist, illustrate just how much has to go right across 20 countries, with independent governments and a population of nearly 1 billion people for the entire continent to dig it’s way out of the hole it finds itself in.