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As a result of the financial crisis and global recession public debt burdens have risen to critical levels in a number of Western European countries. Emergency loans from the EU and IMF have eased funding pressures, but have only bought the region time; painful fiscal adjustment and an improvement in competitiveness is required if the region is to enjoy a sustainable recovery.
Eastern Europe, while rebounding through exports and industrial output, will underperform its emerging-market peers in 2010. Business and consumer sentiment in the region is fragile, and its currency and bond markets are vulnerable to contagion from problems in the euro zone or a rise in risk aversion more broadly.
This presentation takes a look at the economic outlook for both Western and Eastern Europe.