Category Archives: Eurocoin

3/10/20: Eurocoin Leading Growth Indicator 3Q 2020

 

Eurocoin, a leading growth indicator for the euro area published by CEPR and Banca d'Italia posted another negative (recessionary) reading in September (-0.31) after marking peak growth contraction of COVID19 pandemic period in August (-0.64). This puts Eurocoin in negative territory for the 6th consecutive month since March 2020. 


Current forecast for 3Q 2020 growth remains at -3.5 percent q/q. Deflationary pressures are also building up. Euro area's 12 months average HICP forecast for 3Q 2020 stands at around 0.6 to 0.5.


As the chart above shows, Eurozone remains deeply in a recessionary territory based on Eurocoin forecasts and inflation dynamics. Longer term growth averages are shown in the chart below:


Overall, as noted above, one must take all leading indicators and forecasts with some serious warnings attached: we are in an environment where past models for forecasting economic aggregates become severely challenged.


17/9/20: Eurocoin Leading Growth Indicator 3Q 2020

 

Eurocoin, CEPR & Banca d'Italia leading growth indicator for Euro Area economy is pointing to renewed weaknesses in the Eurozone economy in August, falling to its lowest levels in the COVID19 pandemic period:


As the chart above shows, Eurocoin fell from -0.5 in July to -0.64 in August, its lowest reading since June 2009. The forecast September indicator is at -0.30. Through August, we now have five consecutive months of sub-zero readings. Based on July-August data and September forecast, we are looking at a GDP contraction of 3.5 percentage points in 3Q 2020. This is mapped out in the chart below:


As the chart above shows, average annual growth rate in the Eurozone for 2020 is now sitting at -6,33 percent, far worse than the previous low of -0.575 in 2009. In quarterly readings, we now have two actual and one forecast quarters of 2020 all performing worse than the peak of the Global Financial Crisis / Great Recession contraction (see green entry in the chart above).


As before the COVID19 crisis, Eeurozone economy is performing woefully. On no time horizon did Euro area manage to achieve average annual growth of 2% (chart above).



29/6/20: Eurocoin Growth Indicator June 2020


Using the latest Eurocoin leading growth indicator for the Euro area, we can position the current COVID19 pandemic-related recession in historical context.

Currently, we have two data points to deal with:

  1. Q1 2020 GDP change reported by Eurostat (first estimate) came in at -3.6 percent with HICP (12-mo average) declining from 1.2 percent in January-February to 1.1 percent in March.
  2. Q2 2020 Eurocoin has fallen from 0.13 in March 2020 to -0.37 in June 2020 and June reading is worse than -0.32 recorded in May. This suggests continued deterioration in GDP growth conditions, with an estimate of -2.1 percent decline in GDP over 2Q 2020. HICP confirms these: HiCP dropped from 1.1 percent in March 2020 to 0.9 percent in May. 
Here are the charts:


We are far, far away from the growth-inflation 'sweet spot':


10/7/19: Financialising Stagnant Growth: From Japanified Economy to Christine Lagarde


Monetary policy since the GFC of 2008 has been characterised by the near-zero (and even negative) policy rates, negative bank rates, negative Government debt yields and rampant asset price inflation. The result has been zombification of the advanced economies.

Here is the latest advanced estimate of the Eurozone real GDP growth based on the CEPR/Banca d'Italia Eurocoin indicator:
Current forecast for 2Q 2019 growth in the Eurozone, based on Eurocoin indicator is for 0.17% q/q expansion. June Eurocoin sits at 0.14%, the lowest since September 2013. The growth rate forecast has now been sub-0.25% (below 1% annual) in five months (through June 2019) and counting. Meanwhile, the link between growth and inflation has been weakening, as shown in the chart below:


Both, from the point of view of view of the current data relative to 1Q 2019 and to 2Q 2018 and to Q1 2018, growth rates are shrinking, per above. The ECB, however, remains stuck in the proverbial hard corner (chart next):

 Five years into zero policy rates, inflation is gradually creeping up (chart above), but growth is nowhere to be seen (chart next):

Worse, tangible fundamentals (captured by the models, like Eurocoin) of economic growth are becoming less and less consistent with actual growth outruns - a feature of the economy that is becoming dependent on things other than real investment and real demand for generating expansion in GDP. Both, the chart above and the chart below, highlight this troubling fact.
All of this suggests that we are in the period in economic development that is fully consistent with the secular stagnation thesis: traditional tools of monetary and fiscal policies are no longer sufficient in generating real economic growth. Instead, these tools help sustain economies overloaded with debt. It is an extend-and-pretend model of economic development: as long as corporates and households can be supported in carrying existent debt loads through monetary accommodation, the economy remains afloat (no recession, nor crisis blowout), but the levels of debt are so prohibitively high that no new debt can be accumulated to generate economic expansion.

The markets know as much. Investors know that zombie loans (loans with no capacity of servicing them should interest rates rise) mean zombie banks. Zombie banks mean zombie new borrowing markets. Zombie new borrowing markets mean zombie real investment by households and companies. Zombie investment means zombie demand. Zombie demand means deflationary supply. Rinse and repeat.

This knowledge in the markets is tangible. It takes a change in investors expectations (as in recent changes in outlook toward the reversal of the monetary tightening in the U.S. and Europe) to reprice assets. No actual value added growth enters the equation. Assets are no longer being priced on their productive capacity. And the markets are now fully finacialised. Which is to say, they are now fully monetary policy-driven.

Enter Christine Lagarde, the new head of the ECB. Lagarde's appointment is hardly an accident or a politically correct nod to women in leadership. It is the only logical choice of the financialised zombie economics of the monetary policy. To re-start borrowing or debt cycle, the EU is hoping for mutualisation of the sovereign debt markets. In other words, it is hoping to leverage the only unencumbered asset the EU still has: surplus countries' bonds. Lagarde's job at the ECB will be to run the creation of the eurobonds, bonds that will proportionally link euro area members' bonds into a single product to be monetised by the ECB as a support for market pricing. There is probably EUR 2-3 trillion worth of the international and monetary demand for these, opening up the room for more borrowing and more fiscal spending.

15/2/19: Euro area is sliding toward recession


Based on the latest data through January 2019, Eurozone’s economic problems are getting worse. In 4Q 2018, Euro area posted real GDP growth of just 0,.2% q/q - matching the print for 3Q 2018. Meanwhile, inflation has fallen from 1.7% in December 2018 to 1.6% in January 2018. And Eurocoin - a leading growth indicator for euro area GDP expansion slipped from 0.42 in December 2018 to 0.31 in January 2019. This marked the third consecutive month of decline in Eurocoin, and the steepest fall in 8 months. Worse, July 23016 was the last time Eurocoin was at this level.



Within the last 12 months, Eurozone growth has officially fallen from 0,.7% q/q in 4Q 2017 to 0.2% in 4Q 2018, HICP effectively stayed the same, with inflation at 1.6% in January 2018 agains 1.5% in January 2018. And forward growth indicator has collapsed from 0.95 in January 2018 to 0.31 in January 2019.

Euro area is heading backward when it comes to economic activity, fast.

Germany just narrowly escaped an official recession, with 4Q growth at zero, and 3Q growth at -0.2%


Italy is in official recession, with 3Q 2018 GDP growth of -0.1% followed by 4Q 2018 growth of -0.2%.

Industrial goods production is now down two consecutive months in the Euro area as a whole, with latest print for December 2018 sitting at - 4.2% decline, following a -3.0% y/y fall in November 2018.


Worse, capital goods industrial production - a signal of forward capacity investment, is now down even more sharply: from -4.4% in November 2018 to -5.5% in December 2018.