Report: U.S. Traffic to Europe Increases

Trans-Atlantic has published its latest report on travel to Europe, with both some good and worrisome news.

U.S. traffic to Europe rose 3.2 percent in April, less than half of the 6.5-percent rate in March, according to the latest figures from the Department of Commerce. U.S. traffic was up 4.8 percent for the October-April off-peak season, to a total of 4.95 million.

One of the major concerns is, of course, the state of the euro and the Eurozone. Polls in Greece are reportedly finding voters closely divided in what will amount to a referendum June 17 on the austerity/bailout agreements with the EU and IMF. If it results in victory for the anti-bailout parties, Greece may be headed for bankruptcy and departure from the euro zone.

Spain and Italy were forced to pay high yields on their most recent bond sales. Spain had to bail out its largest lender, Bankia, with funds it is itself borrowing. Anti-austerity leaders, like France’s new president, Françoise Hollande, are pushing for creation of “euro bonds” to meet the crisis and finance stimulus spending, and Germany’s Angela Merkel is also "signaling some movement" in a similar direction.

The report also notes that if Europe slips into a continent-wide recession, other economies that are slowing down—including the U.S., Russia, China and India—could be undermined further. Eurozone fears have already pushed the dollar to a 23-month high against the euro.