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Is Europe on the verge of an economic upturn?

In this very difficult economic environment it seems that each and every day brings a different report and a different angle on the European economy. Only a few days ago you could have been mistaken for believing the Irish government and the Irish economy was on the verge of collapse and problems in Portugal may well result in austerity measures been delayed or cancelled. However, on the other hand it seems that the overall European economy is a little stronger than many had expected even though the euro staged a retreat from recent highs against the dollar.

There are still niggling doubts regarding the Irish economy and the Portuguese economy amid concerns that their budget deficits are not yet under control. There is a possibility that if the Irish and the Portuguese economies were "fixed" in the short-term then investor confidence would return to the Eurozone and potentially we could be over the worst. However, too many investors are too concerned about the Irish economy and the Portuguese economy in the short to medium term to consider investing significant funds in the hope of an upturn.

It will be interesting to see how the European economy as a whole and the individual parts of the economy perform in the final quarter of 2010 and indeed what the prospects are for 2011. At this point, with the greatest of respect to analysts and economists, nobody seems to have a true understanding of the situation and the potential trends for the future.

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