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By Hugh Stephenson

Seven of the top economists in Europe and the USA supply their provocative perspectives on key matters dealing with the way forward for Europe. the subjects lined diversity from why Europe's development fee is less than America's and the event of the Eurozone to the influence of schooling at the economic climate and the looming pension predicament.

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But the domestic demand contribution to Eurozone growth has plummeted, with household consumption, household borrowing, retail sales, car sales – whatever measure of domestic demand you choose – far less dynamic in the Eurozone than in the US. What is true for the Eurozone as a whole is even truer of Germany, the slowest-growing of the large European economies. German export performance, for all the talk of a competitiveness problem, has been remarkably resilient since 2001, but consumption expenditure has fallen, bringing down real domestic demand.

Faced with high capital mobility, no country can pursue an independent monetary policy if it fixes its exchange rate or extinguishes its exchange rate by joining a full-fledged monetary union or opting for formal dollarization. Second, it may have been wrong to do what many of us did during the run-up to monetary union, when we compared the characteristics of shocks besetting subnational regions in a single country such as the United States with the characteristics of shocks besetting European countries.

I agree with the critics. I am especially worried about the definition of price stability – an inflation rate no higher than 2 per cent. This does not allow sufficiently for the strong probability that rapidly growing Eurozone economies will experience more inflation than more mature ones. At one time, most economists believed that the adoption of a single currency and single monetary policy would greatly reduce and even eliminate persistent differences in national inflation rates. The differences have persisted, and they will get bigger after the accession countries have joined the Eurozone.

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