America feasts on weakening Europe
Large U.S. companies have managed to avoid the troubles related to the European crisis, but they have yet to face a number of problems in this key market. Analysts’ forecasts on Europe are not very favorable as the situation continues to deteriorate. However, so far the American companies are doing quite well.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, as shown by the stock index of Standard & Poor’s, the earnings of the U.S. companies in the European sector grew by 11.4 percent compared with the indicators a year ago. The total increase in revenues for the quarter was 13.1 percent - and this is despite the suspended status of the euro and the plight of a number of European countries.
The Americans were surprised with the strength of Europe. There is an impression that 10 percent unemployment in 17 eurozone countries is something from a parallel reality. The manufacturer of heavy equipment Caterpillar Inc., for example, grew its European revenues by nearly a third. Harley-Davidson Inc. cheerfully reported that the proportion of the total market sales reached a “record high”. McDonald’s Corp. made 9 percent more in Europe than in the previous year (the number in the rest of the world is 10 percent). Big Macs were most in demand in Germany, France, Britain and Russia. This year the company plans to open 150 more restaurants in Europe, and refurbish the existing ones.