Europe’s shaky economy. The economies of Sweden and Switzerland contracted in the third quarter. Thanks largely to a decline in exports, economic output fell in both countries by about 0.2 percent – not a huge amount, but enough to counter the otherwise rosy expectations of markets and analysts alike. Germany’s economy, the engine of the European Union, contracted in the third quarter too. The European Commission’s economic sentiment index fell for the 11th consecutive month, a decline owing to fears over Italy and waning consumer optimism. Each of these developments could be interpreted as a short-term blip, but taken together, they point to a longer-term decline in European economic activity.
Is the Idlib deal dead? The agreement Russia and Turkey reached in September over the status of Idlib, the embattled province of northwest Syria, is on the verge of breaking down. The Syrian government claims Turkey has failed to hold up its end of the bargain because it has yet to re