With some countries on the continent posting growth, Europe and its related exchange traded funds (ETF) could be on their way to a recovery.

Germany and France both reported increases in growth and the numbers have convinced some analysts that Europe’s economy is recovering, perhaps even faster than that of the United States’, reports Charlie Parker for Citywire.

There are some risks, though:

  • Some economists think, however, that the improved numbers may not be a show of overall economic strength but rather a fall in imports as exports remain the same, which would come up as a stronger net trade.
  • The unemployment rates in Germany and France may also be misleading because of the larger public sector. It is seen that the fall in production in Europe did not reflect an equal fall in unemployment. The economies could suffer later from the excess weight.
  • The European Central Bank has cut its benchmark interest rate to a record 1% low and begun a $86 billion program of buying assets, writes Simon Kennedy for Bloomberg. Officials are regarding the economic recovery with caution and won’t be reversing their policies any time soon.
  • The ECB projected that the European economy may contract 4.6% this year and contract 0.3% in 2010. Deutsche Bank estimates a 1.3% contraction next year and UBS AG predicts 2.1%.

One way to access the European market is through the PowerShares FTSE RAFI Europe (PEF) ETF. PEF, currently up 42% year-to-date, tracks the performance of the largest European equities in the FTSE RAFI Europe Index, which normally invest 90% of its total assets in securities that comprise the Index and ADRs based on securities in the Index, as stated by InvescoPowerShares. The ETF has 526 holdings with an expense ratio of 0.75%.

  • Country allocations: United Kingdom 30.6%, France 14.7%, Germany 13.3%, Italy 7.6%, Switzerland 6.4%, Netherlands 5.8%, Spain 5.3%, Sweden 4.0%, Ireland 2.6%, Belgium 2.5%


For more information on Europe, visit our Europe category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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