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The Boston Globe

Business

Treasury head visiting Europe, to stress growth

Eurozone officials concerned about wilting economy

WASHINGTON — Jacob J. Lew began his first trip to Europe as Treasury secretary Sunday, a four-city tour in which he is expected to try to persuade finance ministers to pursue a little more growth and a little less austerity to improve the economic fortunes there and elsewhere.

Growth is again at the top of the Obama administration’s agenda as Lew meets over a 48-hour period with high-ranking leaders representing the European Union, Germany, and France. Europe’s sovereign debt crisis continues to simmer for its fourth year, most recently in Portugal over the weekend, and European unemployment rates are still rising. The eurozone economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012, with the large economies of Germany, France, Spain, and Italy all contracting.

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