UK: Deloitte Monday Briefing: Gloom and Resignation in Europe

Last Updated: 29 May 2013
Article by Ian Stewart

Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2017

* The US non-profit organisation the Pew Research Centre carries out surveys of public opinion across the world. Its latest report shows how the financial crisis has affected public opinion in eight European countries - Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic.

* The survey paints a picture of economic pessimism, growing disenchantment with the EU and rising scepticism about the merits of further European integration. It is a sign of the times that the public in France, Greece and the Czech Republic have an even less favourable view of the EU than Europe's long-standing sceptics, the British.

* Germany is the exception to this picture. Germans are more positive about their economy than in 2007, while the public has turned significantly more negative in the other countries surveyed.

* The contrast between German and French public opinion is especially marked. 75% of Germans rate economic conditions as being "good"; just 9% of French people take the same view. Germans have a positive view of the EU, favour greater European integration and think that their leader, Angela Merkel, has handled the financial crisis well. Faced with the same questions French public opinion is uniformly negative, and far more so than a year ago.

* Outside Germany economic pessimism and political disillusionment are widespread. But such sentiment is probably less of a threat to Europe's established order than it seems.

* The Pew Survey provides no evidence of a groundswell of public opinion against the euro. On the contrary, in Greece, Spain, Germany, Italy and France support for continued membership of the single currency comfortably exceeds 60%. Support for the single currency has risen in the last year in Italy and Spain despite a deep and continuing recession.

* Equally, there is little evidence of a revolt against public sector austerity. Most voters see public debt as a problem. And when asked to choose between reducing public expenditures and more spending, most chose cuts in spending. Across the eight European countries surveyed a median of 59% of voters believe that reducing public debt is the best way to solve their country's economic problems. Only in Greece and Poland do a majority see higher public spending as a solution to their economic problems.

* The survey also testifies to the potential for surprises in any future UK referendum on membership of the EU. 46% of British respondents favour leaving the EU, exactly the same proportion as would chose to remain.

* An illuminated and amusing section of the Survey examines widely-held European stereotypes. The strongest result here was on trustworthiness, where, with the exception of Greece, the countries covered rated Germany as the most trustworthy nation (Greek voters see Greece as being the most trustworthy).

* Voters in Britain, Germany and France are united in the view that France is the most arrogant country. People in Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic see Germany as the most arrogant. In what seems to be an example of so-called home bias, voters considered their own country to be the most compassionate.

* Europe has been hit hard by a recession and rising unemployment. Scepticism about the EU and European integration is rife outside Germany. But European policymakers can take comfort from the fact that, by and large, voters support the single currency and do not think more public spending would solve Europe's problems. Europeans may not be terribly happy, but they do not appear to see many alternatives to the EU's current policies.

MARKETS & NEWS

UK's FTSE 100 ended the week down 1.0%.

Here are some recent news stories that caught our eye as reflecting key economic themes:

KEY THEMES

* Greek business sentiment hit a three and a half year high last month

* UK inflation fell to a seven-month low of 2.4% in the year to April, driven by lower costs of motor fuels and air fares

* Eurozone economic activity continued to contract in May, according to preliminary readings from purchasing managers data

* The International Monetary Fund said the UK government should consider further bringing forward infrastructure spending and improving tax incentives to boost growth

* Chinese industrial output contracted in May, the first fall since October, according to purchasing managers' data from HSBC

* Bank of England Director Paul Fisher said that the UK has worked its way through two-thirds of the debt overhang caused by the financial crisis, and will not return to 'trend' growth until this deleveraging is complete

* The Japanese Nikkei stock exchange fell by more than 7% in one day, before recovering much of these losses the following day

* The FT reported that the hunt for high-yielding assets means that so-called "cov-lite" loans have accounted for more than 50% of all leveraged loan issuance so far this year, twice the level seen during the credit boom in 2007.

* Britain came within six hours of running out of natural gas in March according to a senior energy official, in a period where supply-chain disruptions coincided with high demand for gas due to poor weather

* UK fashion brand Burberry reported a 14% rise in annual profits, driven by strong revenues growth in Asia

* German household consumption rose 0.8% rise in Q1 2013, preventing the economy from entering in to recession

* The UK's Co-operative bank announced that it would no longer offer any new corporate loans, while it attempts to plug an estimated £1.8bn capital shortfall

* The BBC has scrapped a digital archive and production system, designed to digitally share content across the corporation, at a cost of £98m

* The economist who coined the term "Grexit" said that says the possibility of Greece exiting the euro zone has receded "markedly", due to the improved stability of Greece's coalition government and an upgrade in growth expectations in the euro area

* Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve denied the US $85bn-a-month quantitative easing programme has inflated stock markets, saying that share prices are "not inconsistent with the fundamentals"

* Research from the London School of Economics showed that 10% of households in Britain had total wealth of £967,200 or more between 2008 and 2010

* Best-selling author Stephen King is to release his next book 'Joyland' in a paperback only format to encourage readers to visit book stores rather than downloading content - is paper back?

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.