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The recovery of industrial production has been disappointing, as survey indicators have been more optimistic than actual output in that sector. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the Euro Area continues to grow, but its six-month growth rate declined in February. Disinflation in the Euro Area continues to be a concern, as the inflation rate has dropped to 0.5 percent. Global political risk and concerns about growth in emerging markets are also weighing on the outlook for the European economy. Energy independence has emerged as another important issue in Europe, but one that is not easily addressed in the short run.