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Greece faces long road to recovery, despite financial rebound

By Karolina Tagaris PIRAEUS, Greece (Reuters) - Nikos Mavrikos has fired half of his employees since 2010 as the Greek economy imploded, leaving his ship supply business on the verge of collapse. February marked a turning point, however: Mavrikos made a hire, his first in four years. "People are slowly starting to trust Greece again," says Mavrikos, who hopes to take on even more employees soon at his family-owned business.

Eurozone set for 1.2% growth, deflation threatens

The eurozone economy is recovering towards 1.2-percent growth this year, the IMF said in an upgraded forecast on Tuesday but renewed pressure on the European Central Bank to cut interest rates to counter deflation dangers. Warning that recovery in the 18 eurozone members was struggling up a slippery slope, the IMF raised the outlook for this year from 1.0 percent, and forecast 1.5-percent growth next year and in the medium term. hd/rl

Eurozone set for 1.2% growth, deflation threatens

The eurozone economy is recovering towards 1.2-percent growth this year, the IMF said in an upgraded forecast on Tuesday but renewed pressure on the European Central Bank to cut interest rates to counter deflation dangers. Warning that recovery in the 18 eurozone members was struggling up a slippery slope, the IMF raised the outlook for this year from 1.0 percent, and forecast 1.5-percent growth next year and in the medium term. Although the eurozone had "finally emerged from recession" after a contraction of 0.5 percent last year, "downside risks dominate", the IMF said.

PM says French exports hit by high euro

Efforts by France to improve competitiveness and reduce labour costs should not be undermined by a high euro, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday. The new prime minister of the eurozone's second-largest economy said in his maiden speech to parliament that the euro was now "10 percent more expensive than in the summer of last year, which obviously weighs on our exports."

PM says French exports hit by high euro

Efforts by France to improve competitiveness and reduce labour costs should not be undermined by a high euro, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday. The new prime minister of the eurozone's second-largest economy said in his maiden speech to parliament that the euro was now "10 percent more expensive than in the summer of last year, which obviously weighs on our exports."

IMF: World economy gains but faces too-low inflation and capital losses from emerging nations

WASHINGTON - The global economy is strengthening but faces threats from super-low inflation and outflows of capital from emerging economies, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday. The lending organization expects the global economy to grow 3.6 per cent this year and 3.9 per cent in 2015, up from 3 per cent last year. Those figures are just one-tenth of a percentage point below the IMF's previous forecasts in January.

ECB's Weidmann: France's budget policies 'test case' for euro fiscal rules

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Jens Weidmann, the president of the German Bundesbank and a member of the European Central Bank board, warned on Monday that the credibility of the euro zone's budgetary rules is at stake and that France's suggestion that the bloc's budget deficit targets be weakened is a "test case" for the rules. "It's vital that we stick to these rules. It's not enough to agree new rules, we have to stick to them." Weidmann told Dutch public television late on Monday. "France is a test case for the credibility of these new rules," he added.

Bank of Canada business survey finds more optimism for hiring, spending

OTTAWA - The Bank of Canada's latest sampling of business sentiment shows company confidence in the economy is turning decidedly positive, and that may be good news for Canadian workers. The influential quarterly survey of 100 representative firms shows that hiring intentions in March were the most positive in almost two years, with executives also pointing to higher sales over the past year and better prospects for future sales.

France seeks to reassure Germany on deficits, reform

By Annika Breidthardt BERLIN (Reuters) - France's new Socialist government sought on Monday to reassure Germany, its closest partner and the European Union's pivotal power, that it would stick to promised deficit reductions and step up economic reforms to accelerate sluggish growth. Finance Minister Michel Sapin told his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble, that any measures to cut France's budget gap would come from savings and growth, promising to take "tough, brave" decisions to overhaul a rigid economy.

No reason to again give France more time to cut deficit: Rehn

By Jan Strupczewski BRUSSELS (Reuters) - There is no reason to further extend a European Union deadline for France to cut its budget deficit, the EU's top economic official said on Saturday, adding policy-makers should have learnt the lessons of the debt crisis and stuck to agreed rules. In June last year Paris got two more years, until 2015, to bring its budget shortfall below the EU ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), from a 4 percent gap the European Commission expects it to have this year.
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