Category Archives: euro area growth forecast

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.

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.

12/8/15: Ifo Index of economic conditions: Euro Area 3Q 2015


Latest Ifo Index of Economic Climate for the Euro Area fell from 129.2 for 2Q 2015 to 124.0 for 3Q 2015, running ahead of 118.9 reading in 3Q 2014 and at the second highest level since 4Q 2007.

Present Situation Index reading, however, is up at 148.3 in 3Q 2015, compared to 145.5 in 2Q 2015 and 128.7 in 3Q 2014. The index is at its highest reading since 4Q 2011. Overall, based on Present Situation assessments, 1Q 2015 - 3Q 2015 activity (average of 137.1) is running below the levels of activity during previous expansionary sub-cycle of 1Q 2011 - 3Q 2011 (average of 152.9), suggesting weaker growth conditions in the current recovery phase than 4 years ago.

Expectations for the next 6 months period Index slipped significantly in 3Q 2015 to 109.8 from 119.7 reading for 2Q 2015 and matching rather poor expectations reading recorded in 1Q 2015. The Index is down on 3Q 2014 when it stood at 113.1. Over the entire 2015 to-date, the index has averaged 113.1 against same period average of 117.5 for 2014, and identical to 113.1 average for the same period of 2011. On expectations basis, there is weak optimism among survey participants in growth conditions forward.

Expectations Index gap to Present Conditions is currently at 74% compared to 82.3% in 2Q 2015 and 93.4% in 1Q 2015. This suggests overall deepening gap between current assessment of economic situation and forward expectations to the downside on forward expectations. Still, judging by 6mo lags, current conditions continue to turn out better than previous expectations of the same would have implied, with 6 mo lagged expectations index under-shooting forward 6 months reading for actual conditions by 38.5 points.

Charts to illustrate:




As charts above show:

  • Expectations Index (6mo forward) suggests weaker conditions expectations in the future and remains consistent with poor producers' expectations prevailing from around 4Q 2013 on.
  • Current situation assessment, meanwhile, is improving, but remains relatively weak and only most recently (2Q-3Q 2015) reaching above historical average line.
  • Current economic sentiment published by the EU Commission has now been diverging from 6mo forward expectations published by Ifo for the period starting from 4Q 2014, with expectations being reported by Ifo running more subdued (and worsening) than EU Commission reading of current conditions.
  • Despite being more optimistic than Ifo Expectations, and despite running above its own historical average, the EU Commission Sentiment Index remains rather subdued by historical standards.


In simple terms, things are getting better, but these improvements appear to be more on the surprise side, rather than structural side.

8/5/15: Euro Area Growth Indicator for April: Weak, but Improving


The €-coin index of growth indicators for Euro area published by Banca d'Italia and CEPR posted another rise in April, marking the fifth consecutive month of increases. Eurocoin printed 0.33 in April, up from 0.26 in March. Per Banca d'Italia, "the indicator was mainly buoyed by the increase in industrial production and rising share prices." In other words, welcome to the marvels of QE.


Forecast 3mo on 3mo growth rate is now at 0.3-0.35%, the highest since April 2014. However, April 2015 reading of 0.33 is still below April 2014 reading of 0.39.

The monetary policy remains firmly lodged in a low-growth, low-inflation corner, while rates are at their zero bound:



Growth conditions signalled by Eurocoin (not actual growth data, yet) signal 12mo growth returning to close to long-term average:


This is hardly impressive, since historical growth records for the Euro area are exceptionally anaemic and current major monetary policy push for growth should be expected to drive rates of growth much higher. This is not happening so far.

Euro area business confidence surveys indicate either weak (EU Commission) or falling (PMIs)

But actual PMIs are a more upbeat:



While Consumers continue to stay away from the shops:


27/3/15: Euro Area Growth Indicator up in March, but…


Latest Eurocoin (Banca d'Italia and CEPR) leading growth indicator for euro area economy came in at a slight improvement in March to 0.26 from 0.23 in February, posting the highest reading since July 2014. The average quarterly growth forecast now implied by Eurocoin is at around 0.25-0.3% q/q with the risk to the upside.



This is the first monthly reading since July 2014 that puts Eurocoin into statistically significant growth territory and also the first monthly reading for positive growth momentum based on 6mo moving average.

However, as the chart below indicates, y/y we are still in weak growth territory and, to a large extent, this growth is supported by dis-inflationary momentum, rather than by nominal growth.


Accommodative monetary policer remains the key forward and the ECB remain stuck in the proverbial 'monetary policy corner':



In March, the main factors behind the Eurocoin increase were: an improvement in household and business confidence, plus gains in share prices. In other words, there is no organic driver for growth - both confidence indicators and share prices may have only indirect link to real economic activity.