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For the Euro-zone, the worst of the damage from the sovereign debt and banking crisis appears now to be in the past, but conditions certainly do not warrant a party either. The stagnant growth environment in the Euro-zone is still reflected in GDP numbers, with 2013 estimated year-over-year GDP growth of -0.4%, showing only a modest improvement from the -1% posted in 2012. Forecasted growth for 2014 of 1% provides a hint of optimism. Deflation is still a concern, and the weaker economies of the Mediterranean countries, while having made progress—observe Italy achieving an operating balance in its budget and Spain growing exports and producing meaningful pension reform—still need to be watched closely.