This is the second of a three-part series on the eurozone debt crisis.



) -- You can't win in this market without digging into what's going on in Europe. At stake in the debt crisis are years of painfully slow economic growth or even a global recession.


already asked economists what they think is most misunderstood about the debt contagion. Next we ask them which economic indicators in Europe that U.S. investors should pay more attention to.

Darren Williams, senior economist with Alliance Bernstein

: Normally I would say that investors should pay particular attention to survey data like the PMIs (purchasing managers indexes). But right now, when the euro area might be in the formative stages of a credit crunch, investors need to pay particular attention to indicators of credit availability. That means bank lending surveys, money supply data as well as any indications of increased stress from the interbank market.

Francisco Torralba, economist with Morningstar Investment Management

: Productivity and unit labor costs are determinant for the future of the area as a single-currency zone. But those will change only slowly, if they change, hopefully. Another neglected indicator is the spread between the EONIA (Euro Overnight Index Average) and the three-month EURIBOR (Euro Interbank Offered Rate). That is an indicator of stresses in the banking sector in Europe. Another one would be borrowing of banks from the European Central Bank, by country. There are many other indicators (GDP, consumption, fiscal deficit, sovereign spreads) but those are well covered by the media.

Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo

: We watch all the economic indicators closely but will be paying particular attention to the business confidence surveys and consumer spending data. We need to monitor the progression of this crisis from the public sector to banks, businesses and households.

Raj Badiani, London-based economist with IHS Global Insight

: Any indicators that suggest that the likely recession across the eurozone is going to be longer and deeper than we currently anticipate. This would entail GDP measures and manufacturing and service sector managers PMI survey data, and forward looking indicators like consumer confidence (namely willing to undertake major purchases and willingness to save) and business sentiment (especially investment intentions).

Carsten Brzeski, Belgium-based economist with ING

: The ones U.S. investors should watch closely are the German Ifo to see how the power engine is doing, the European Commission's sentiment indicators to have a broad overview of all countries and currently 10-year spreads. (The German Ifo is a closely watched gauge of German business confidence.)

-- By Chao Deng in New York