With its internal value stable, the euro's inaugural year proved to be a thoroughly successful one for the common currency, even though there was a marked decline in its external value against the dollar and the yen. As far as the economy is concerned, the first year of currency union was less favourable, as its start coincided with a considerable weakness in exports. A clear recovery set in during the course of the year, however, and will continue this year. It will be accompanied by a further marked improvement in the labour market situation while price levels remain stable.
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