The US Treasury Secretary has urged European countries to do more to boost economic growth through consumer demand and rely less on austerity as the Eurozone economy continues to deteriorate at the detriment of the world’s largest economy.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that the weakening level of imports and exports in across the Eurozone is causing concern for the US. Addressing a press conference after meeting with German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble he said;
“As we continue to address many of our long-term challenges, our economy’s strength remains sensitive to events beyond our shores. We have an immense stake in a prosperous Europe.” In a dig at Germany he added, “Consumer growth must be the driver of growth, policies that encourage this in countries with the ability to do so would be helpful.”
Whether Germany has that capacity remains to be seen after today’s economic data releases showed that exports fell by 1.5% in February while imports fell by almost 4% suggesting that the Eurozone’s biggest economy is starting to feel the impacts of the Euro crisis. The disappointing export figure just highlights how dismal the rest of the Euro region is doing when it comes to economic recovery, alternatively exports to non European nations increased in February.
At the press conference German finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble insisted that Germany’s policies were no obstacle for growth, arguing that reordering government finances was necessary for long-term prosperity.
Perhaps he should tell that to the Greeks and other struggling nations as they continue to slide deeper into recession because of Germany’s domination of the Eurozone and their continued insistence for crippling austerity measures.