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Can Germany resist stimulus demands?

Monday, October 13, 2014 - 02:20

France and Italy will keep pressure on Germany this week to use government money to revive the euro zone's stagnating economy. But, as David Pollard reports, a promised list of projects to create growth will not be ready until December.

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They can be dull affairs, even for markets. Against a darkening economic backdrop, this Eurogroup meeting is getting attention. European stocks are down eight per cent in under a month, the euro's on the slide and - a sign of weaker global growth - oil prices have slumped. Last week's IMF and G20 meetings saw Germany at the sharp end of remarks for not doing enough to revive the euro zone. The Eurogroup - especially struggling France and Italy - is likely to up that pressure. That doesn't mean Germany will act. Jeremy Stretch of CIBC. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE, HEAD OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE STRATEGY JEREMY STRETCH: ''Whether they will acquiesce to that I think is going to be a moot point. I think it's going to be the case that we may well have to get rather further towards the economic precipice within the euro zone before Germany will even consider doing more, let alone actually look to adapt and change their policies.'' But voices are getting louder within Germany too. The conservative Die Welt newspaper is the latest to argue for a policy rethink. Finance minister Schaeuble's push for a balanced budget should not, it says, turn into a mindless 'fetish'. For the markets, it all comes as worries over China cloud an already very cluttered outlook. Robert Halver of Baader Bank. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER "I have been working here at the stock exchange since 1990 and I have never seen so many crises all at the same time: Ebola, IS, the Ukraine crisis and the threat of a serious economic crisis in Europe. It's all too much." With no clear prospect of a fiscal stimulus from Germany for now, the only other gun in town is Mario Draghi. Germany may well hope he'll draw first. Many expect he will - but not for some time. Germany may have an uncomfortable few months ahead - and face even more questions. Dominic Rossi of Fidelity. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DOMINIC ROSSI, GLOBAL CIO EQUITIES, FIDELITY: ''Formal QE will be on the agenda of the ECB early next year. What we don't know and what we haven't known for some time, is whether the Bundesbank in particular will at this juncture be prepared to support such action. In the past, they've always said 'no', but at the moment of course even the German economy is running into some difficulties.'' Germanys' weakening growth may be the clincher. The Berlin government is expected to revise that down this week, to around 1.2 per cent for this year and next.

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Can Germany resist stimulus demands?

Monday, October 13, 2014 - 02:20