The April 2011 issue of the Quarterly Report focuses on the EU's economic policy response to the crisis since its outbreak in 2008, placing a particular emphasis on the comprehensive package of policy measures agreed by the European Council in March 2011. The Council's decision to establish a permanent crisis resolution mechanism in the form of the European Stability Mechanism and the sealing of the Euro Plus Pact complement prior policy action spanning the entire economic, budgetary and financial sphere. A second focus section examines the recent upward drift in euro area inflation, stressing the importance of cyclical, but also of structural and political explanatory factors. The acceleration of inflation is found to be mainly driven by commodities prices, especially oil, whereas underlying price pressures remain subdued due to the large amount of spare capacity and well-anchored expectations.
The Report also assesses the macroeconomic impact of higher capital requirements for banks under a move to Basel III regulations, finding that GDP would be lowered slightly over the medium term, but would also be less volatile. A further topic reviews Estonia's path towards the adoption of the euro and emphasises the role of sound economic policymaking in having achieved this goal. A final contribution assesses the ongoing recovery through the lens of the Commission's European Business and Consumer Survey data, which show that the recovery remains on track but is characterised by unusually sluggish and rather unbalanced growth.
Highlights in this issue:
Focus: The EU's comprehensive policy response to the crisis
Focus: Inflation developments in the euro area
Economic impact of changes in capital requirements in the euro-are banking sector
Estonia in the euro area: staying fit in monetary union
Dissecting the recovery with survey data
Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs
The Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) reports to the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. It strives to improve the economic wellbeing of the citizens of the EU - through policies designed to promote sustainable economic growth, a high level of employment, stable public finances and financial stability.
The current priority is to ensure the European economy emerges quickly and strongly from the economic and financial crisis.
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