This is the sixth in a series of annual reports produced by the CEPS Macroeconomic Policy Group (MPG), composed of distinguished economists who have undertaken to carry out independent, in-depth research on current developments in the European economy. Repeating a refrain from previous years, this report emphasises two disappointing phenomena, a dismal productivity record and a persistent deterioration of fiscal policy, which continued to negatively affect Europe?s performance. True to its
mission as "ECB watchers", the group also analyses at length the effectiveness of monetary policy, concentrating this time on the delays between monetary policy decisions and their impact on the economy. The main finding is that it is hard to fault the European Central Bank for the policy pursued so far. Nevertheless, hope is expressed that the ECB will be patient during the upswing that is now apparently starting in earnest to provide policy-makers in other areas with a window of opportunity to
seriously pursue structural reforms.