European economic data encouraging, but crisis not over: EU's Rehn

European economic data encouraging, but crisis not over: EU
# 15 August 2013 03:39 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. European Union (EU) Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn on Wednesday hailed the latest European economic data as encouraging, but warned the debt and economic crisis in Europe was not over, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

His statement as Eurostat data showed that the eurozone had emerged from recession after growing 0.3 percent in the second quarter this year.

The 0.3-percent quarterly growth ended a record-long recession in the single currency area, whose gross domestic product (GDP) had suffered contractions in the past four quarters.

"This slightly more positive data is welcome, but there is no room for any complacency. Self-congratulatory statements suggesting 'the crisis is over' are not for today," Rehn said in a written statement.

"Today's figures, when combined with other recent positive survey data, are encouraging and suggest the European economy is gradually gaining momentum," he said.

Industrial production grew by 0.7 percent on a monthly basis in June, compared with a 0.2-percent contraction in May, Eurostat figures showed.

Economic confidence in the eurozone continued to improve in July, driven by improving confidence in the currency area's major economies, the European Commission said.

Rehn pointed to the figures as further evidence to support the European Commission's 2013 spring forecast and its projections for "a subdued, mild recovery" in the second half of 2013.

"The data also supports, in my view, the fundamentals of our crisis response: a policy mix where building a stability culture and pursuing structural reforms supportive of growth and jobs go hand in hand," said Rehn.

The commissioner sounded a warning saying "there are still substantial obstacles to overcome" and "still a very long way to go."

"The growth figures remain low and the tentative signs of growth are still fragile; the averages hide important differences between member states, a number of member states still have unacceptably high unemployment rates; and the implementation of essential but difficult reforms across the EU is still in its early stages," he added.

"A sustained recovery is now within reach, but only if we persevere on all fronts of our crisis response," Rehn said.

He urged member states to "keep up the pace of economic reform, regain control over our debt, both public and private, and build the pillars of a genuine economic and monetary union."

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