The UK's economic recovery is likely to be slower than that of Germany and France, according to the latest forecasts from Standard & Poor's.
The ratings agency is estimating GDP growth of 1.2% for the UK in 2010, compared to 1.6% in Germany and 1.4% in France. However, it says the UK will outperform the larger southern European states such as Spain and Italy.
Chief European economist Jean-Michel Six says the euro's recent slippage against the dollar could pad eurozone GDP growth by one percentage point over a full year.
He categorises European recovery as running at two speeds, with northern European countries pulling away from the so-called PIGS.
"We foresee a wider than previously anticipated gap between Europe's southern rim countries and their northern neighbors when it comes to output growth," he says.
"Financial market pressures have intensified, just as countries like Greece, Spain, and Portugal have moved to fast-track implementation of contractionary fiscal policies."
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