The European Commission today revised previous estimates showing that Europe would return to economic growth this year, now saying that the continent may be mired in recession until 2014 due in part to “record joblessness”:
The 17-nation bloc’s economy, which generates nearly a fifth of global output, will shrink 0.3 percent in 2013, the Commission said, meaning the euro zone will remain in its second recession since 2009 for a year longer than originally foreseen.
The Commission, the EU executive, late last year forecast 0.1 percent growth in the euro zone’s economy for 2012, but now says tight lending conditions for companies and households, job cuts and frozen investment have delayed an expected recovery.
Of course, one of the causes of record joblessness is the continued austerity to which Europe has been subjected thanks to, among others, the European Commission. This chart shows that austerity has gone hand-in-hand with economic contraction in Europe:
But the European Commission has shown no evidence that it plans to recommend a move away towards austerity. And Eurozone officials can’t even handle mild criticism of their continued adherence to a policy that has delivered none of the promised results without lashing out. In the meantime, misery on the continent continues.