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The Euro Is Drifting Apart and the End of QE Could Worsen It

  • Data on incomes, wages and employment show convergence stalled
  • End of ECB stimulus threatens to worsen economic disparity
A customer places euro banknotes into a purse ahead of the 171st Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. An OPEC deal to curtail oil production appeared in jeopardy as Iran said it won’t make cuts while Saudi Arabia insisted Tehran must be willing to play a meaningful role in any agreement.
Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg
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Twenty-five years ago, when plans for the euro were formally set down, an unofficial promise was made: Bring this currency to life, and the economies that use it will grow together.

That hasn’t happened. And now, as the region’s growth solidifies, the process of “convergence” -- an aligning of economic outcomes -- may yet be thrown further back when the stimulus being supplied by the European Central Bank eventually stops.