Euro area: A surer footing

After several false starts, the economic recovery has taken hold. Activity in the first half of 2006 grew at the fastest pace for some years. Exports and investment have been the main drivers, but there are signs that households have started to boost spending as well. Consumption should underpin the recovery, with business and residential investment playing less of a role than they have done recently. Overall, GDP is projected to grow in the 2 to 2.5% range through 2007 and 2008.
With the recovery on a surer footing, monetary stimulus should be removed. If the recovery maintains strong momentum, there may be a need to raise interest rates further in 2008 as well. The improvement in the fiscal position is welcome, especially in the countries that had high deficits, but further steps are needed to move towards a sustainable fiscal position. Additional reforms to enhance the single market would improve the euro area’s economic performance and its resilience to shocks.
Population (000s), 2005 311 357
Area (000 sq km) 2 503
Currency Euro
GDP (Billion USD), 2005 9602.2
Life expectancy at birth (Women, Men), 2004 81.9, 76.0
Total labour force (000s), 2005 146 265
Government type Federal Republic
Indicators % change unless otherwise indicated
2006 2007 2008
GDP growth 2.6 2.2 2.3
Household savings ratio 10.1 10.0 9.9
Consumer price index 1.4 1.9 1.8
Short-term interest rate (%) 3.1 3.8 4.0
Unemployment rate (%) 7.9 7.4 7.1
General government financial balance (% GDP) -2.1 -1.5 -1.4
Current account balance
(% GDP)
-0.3 -0.1 -0.1
Source: OECD©OECD Observer No. 258/259, December 2006

Economic data


Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly

Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017