Strained relations with Russia over conflict in Ukraine “have hit confidence in Germany”, complicating economic recovery in the eurozone, the UK's Financial Times newspaper said on Monday, quoting economists polled by Reuters news agency.
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi was cited as saying that further breakdown of relations with Russia “would weaken growth in the second half of the year”.
The region’s recovery already looked fragile with Italy, the eurozone’s third-largest economy, back in recession and the French economy remaining weak, the paper said.
“There are also signs momentum in the German economy, which provides more than a quarter of the currency area’s output, has halted,” it said, reporting polled economists as saying that the region’s economic powerhouse failed to grow at all in the second quarter.
Ukraine's crisis triggered a sharp slump in factory orders in June, as well as a decline in business confidence, the paper said.
Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank, was quoted as saying, “It’s not the end of the upswing, but it’s a reminder that there are certain risks from emerging markets.” “Germany is highly export driven. It can’t be immune from what is going on outside,” Kraemer concluded.