Roland Berger Sees Widening Europe North-south Competitive Gap

Europe stocks waver amid U.S. deadlock, China data

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On a more upbeat note, shares of Electricite de France SA /quotes/zigman/396068 FR:EDF -0.42% climbed 2.2% as the utility firm closed in on sealing a 14-billion-pound ($22.4 billion) deal to build and operate nuclear reactors in the U.K. Heavyweight Vodafone gained 0.8% after the telecom firm said it completed the takeover of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG /quotes/zigman/590596 DE:KD8 -0.0077% . U.S. deadlock More broadly, the losses in Europe came 14 days into the U.S. government shutdown and three days before the country is expected to reach its borrowing limit, unless lawmakers break a stalemate and raise the nations debt ceiling. On Sunday, Senate Republicans and Democrats leaders continued attempts to find a way to break the fiscal impasse between the Republican-led House and President Barack Obama. Read: Fed shutdown and your retirement: Remain calm Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned the U.S. will run out of borrowing authority on Oct. 17 unless Congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling. A failure to increase the limit could lead to a technical default, which some fear will drag the economy back into recession . U.S. stocks traded lower on Wall Street . China and Europe data Meanwhile in China, data over the weekend showed a surprise decline in exports in September , signaling the global economy is still struggling to recover.

rose two slots to fourth and fifth respectively in the Geneva-based organizations 148-nation league. Singapore and Finland retained their second and third positions. Of the 701 respondents, 70 percent forecast economic expansion in 2014, with significant growth in 2015, the Roland Berger study showed. About 53 percent of respondents in northwest Europe expect their competitiveness relative to the region to improve. By contrast, only 10 percent in southwest Europe see an improvement in their position. No Swiss respondents anticipated a worsening of their situation. German Reforms Germany, home to Siemens AG (SIE) , Europes largest engineering company, and Volkswagen AG (VOW) , which is seeking to become the worlds biggest carmaker by 2018, must continue reforming, European Central Bank Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said in a speech in Dautphetal-Buchenau on Aug. 27. Germany and Europe are dependent upon exports, so we have to see to what extent regulatory issues lead to problems, Roland Bergers Falckenberg said. Competitiveness in France is more difficult. The government is making it harder for businesses to shut operations if the business does not work. And this makes the French market less attractive to investors. Europes competitiveness compared to Asia will decline in the next three years, according to 64 percent of respondents in the survey, while 49 percent expect it to worsen when compared to North America . Only 14 percent see the competitive advantage against North America improving in that period. All companies constantly have to improve profitability.