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Commentary

Why Europe Is Lagging

As the U.S. economy finds its footing, these four factors are holding the eurozone back.

We got more bad news from Europe this week, and for once it wasn't explicitly about the sovereign debt crisis. Instead the news was more of the run-of-the-mill economic-downturn variety. There were no dramatic press conferences or last-minute deals, but rather just more evidence that a recession is taking hold in Europe.

The slowdown in the eurozone stands in stark contrast to the United States at the moment. The United States is seeing accelerating growth, resilient manufacturing, fairly robust retail sales, an improving job market, and even stabilization in the long-struggling housing market. So why are things so much worse in Europe right now, and what will it mean for the U.S.?