“There is certainly no reason why the expansion in the euro area should abruptly come to an end,” Draghi said in Frankfurt. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
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Europe's five-year economic expansion is facing a midlife crisis as it copes with a potential debt explosion in Italy, a U.S.-China trade war and the risk of a disorderly British exit from the European Union. How those risks play out will decide whether the economic upswing that began in early 2013 and created 9.5 million more jobs ages gracefully for several more years or meets an early demise.The economy of the 19 countries that use the euro stumbled in July-September, when quarterly growth halved to 0.2 percent. Some see that as a natural slowdown after much stronger, trade-fueled expansion of 0.7 percent at the end of last year.Unemployment, now at 8.1 percent, continues to fall from its 2013 peak above 12 percent as the eurozone slowly heals from a debt crisis that threatened to break it up in 2011-2012 ."There is certainly no reason why the expansion in the euro area should abruptly come to an end," Draghi said Friday in a speech in Frankfurt.He noted that the eurozone expansion is still "relatively short in length" at 22 quarters, compared to the average of 31 quarters for the five periods of growth since 1975 .
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