News / Economy

    Economic Confidence Declines in US, Europe

    Multimedia

    Separate reports on U.S. consumer confidence and European economic sentiment added to the volatility in global markets Tuesday.

    In the U.S., consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in 16 months, while the European Union's index of economic sentiment saw a sixth consecutive decline. The pessimism reflects the growing economic uncertainty on both sides of the Atlantic.

    U.S. consumer confidence deteriorated sharply in August as Americans grew more pessimistic about jobs and the slow pace of recovery.  Despite an uptick in consumer spending, the Commerce Department says U.S. growth has been less robust than expected, expanding at an annual rate of just 1 percent in the second quarter.  Economist Gary Burtless at the Brookings Institution says the political debate on deficits and the debt ceiling has made matters worse.

    "Nothing that the Congress has done so far this year is going to boost the rate of growth of the economy and, arguably, it's going to - in the short-run - make things a little bit worse over the next 12 months," Burtless said.

    While the appetite for spending cuts could increase the risk of another U.S. recession, weak growth prospects in Europe is adding to the pessimism.  Germany, considered the powerhouse economy among the 17-nations that use the euro, grew by a mere one tenth of one percent in the second quarter.  Analysts say that further complicates the eurozone's ability to underwrite debt-heavy nations such as Greece and Portugal.

    The uncertainty could force banks to hike interest rates -- raising the risk of debt defaults among weaker eurozone countries.

    Iain Begg at the London School of Economics says the resulting crisis could have a domino effect on banks in the U.S.

    "I think we already know the degree of the contagion because we witnessed it in 2008 after the demise of Lehman Brothers, which showed just how heavily interconnected both sides of the Atlantic - indeed the whole world - is when it comes to financial markets.  So the risks are considerable," Begg said.

    Economist Vincent Reinhart at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington says such a scenario might cause investors to pull their money out of the banking system.

    "The extent to which problems in Europe infect financial intermediaries and the extent to which problems in Europe lead investors to withdraw from risk taking generally -- that hits our asset markets," Reinhart said.

    Despite the inability of Europe's leaders to find a short-term solution to end the debt crisis, there are a few glimmers of hope in the U.S.  

    Global markets remain optimistic about the possibility of new action to jolt the U.S. economy when the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee meets in September.  

    Investors are also anticipating a big announcement next week by President Barack Obama on a new initiative to encourage U.S. companies to hire more workers.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9036
    JPY
    USD
    102.32
    GBP
    USD
    0.7297
    CAD
    USD
    1.3005
    INR
    USD
    68.004

    Rates may not be current.