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7 days of Economics: And what if the EU were to to strengthen its ties?

  • Jean-Luc Proutat Economist
  • Paris
  • 10.02.2017
  1. The European Union reinforces its own trade...
  2. …while economypicks up
  3. The UK has nevertheless chosen to distance itself

As if thumbing its nose at the prevailing Euroscepticism, the business climate is improving a little more each day in the Old World, especially in industry. The purchasing managers’ index rose above 55 in January, a sign of dynamic output. The recovery continues. Stretching from Germany to Spain, it is both widespread and endogenous. Intra-EU trade is indeed picking up, while trade with the rest of the world tends to be flat. 

This uncoupling is rare: it illustrates the polarisation of trade after several decades of globalisation. As a result, the single market is gaining weight again: it absorbed 64% of EU28 exports in 2016, up from 62% in 2013. Faced with the protectionistt hreats of the new US administration, Europe’s 500 million consumers count more than ever for those who want to continue doing business within an organised framework. Even so, having just decided to leave the European Union, the UK has chosen to distance itself. Just where it intends to go remains to be seen.


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