Headline, January 20 2024/ ''' EUROPE'S ECONOMIES EUREKAS '''



! FIRST AND FOREMOST ! : THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY is the exclusive and eternal ownership of every student of the European Union, just as it is honoured and owned by every student in the world.

FOR THE PAST DECADE OR SO ECONOMIC fortunes favoured Europe's north. The Scandinavian countries, plus Germany, Poland and even Britain all boasted decent growth and employment opportunities.

The south by contrast was hit first by the euro crisis in 2010-12 and subsequent painful adjustment, and then by the pandemic, which hurt its tourism-heavy economies more than most.

As Europe faces new challenges such as climate change and geopolitical upheaval, its countries' economic fortunes are diverging in new ways that will start to become visible in 2024.

Start with climate change. Europe aims to become the first carbon-neutral continent. For that to happen, it needs to make its electricity supplies carbon-free, then revamp industry, heating and transport to run on green energy. It is a tall order.

For some, this green transformation may boost growth, as investment increases demand and geography creates opportunities. Places with lots of renewable-energy potential, like those along the windy coast of the North Sea or in practically all of sunny Spain, may see a green boost to growth.

But legacy industries will struggle. Processes such as cement-or steel making use fossil energy that is hard to replace cheaply with green energy. 

On the global market where such products are traded other producers will have much lower energy costs than European ones, because they either have natural gas today or will enjoy abundant green electricity and hydrogen tomorrow.

In heavy industry, Germany is Europe's largest energy user; consuming around twice as much as the next largest, Italy and France.

The car industry, too, faces new competition as combustion-engine cars are phased out and electric vehicles [EVS] take over the market. The EU recently announced probe into China's subsidies to its EV industry shows how nervous Europe is about the new competitor.

Countries with big car industries - the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Slovakia and Spain - stand to suffer as a result.

Next up is demography. Already companies across Europe are struggling to find enough workers. The vacancy rate, the ratio of how many vacancies there are to the total number of jobs in the economy, exceeded 4% in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands in the second-quarter of 2023 [ the euro zone average was just above 1% a decade ago].

And each year, large cohorts from the baby-boom generation enter retirement. The euro zone has 23 million people aged 60-64, but only 18 million aged 15-19. Among the big countries, the gap is largest in Germany, Italy and Poland.

There is hardly any gap in France or Scandinavia, and just a small one in Belgium and the Netherlands.

'' Two-speed Europe '' : NOT all European countries can compensate for the shortfall with increased migration. The war in Ukraine forced many people to flee westward, giving the Czech, German and Polish economies a new source of workers.

Finally, the growing geopolitical rivalry between America and China - and, by extension, democracies and autocracies - will have economic repercussions across Europe. Germany and Italy have already been through one such shock with Russia's gas supplies.

The EU, which aims to make the economies converge, has seen divergence before. But the new kind that will hit the continent in 2024 will be much harder to manage.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Europe, Economies and the Realities, continues. The World Students Society thanks Christian Odendahl, European economics editor, The Economist.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of Europe and then the world. See You all prepare for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - [ for every subject ] : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter X !!E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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