Eurocoin - leading indicator for growth in the euro area is out today, so it is time to update the forecasts:
Last month, my forecast for Eurocoin indicator was to decline from 0.78 to 0.74 over February-March. The actual outrun was the decline to 0.77. So I stick to my forecast for further deterioration. All signs are pointing in the direction of the recovery being reversed - from exports to industrial production, to consumer confidence. And the global economy is starting to feel the pressures of fiscal unwinding. Ditto for the Euro area countries, where Greece and Spain are now at the forefront of fiscal pressures, while France and Germany are also feeling the heat.
This is consistent with low rates of growth, if not an outright double dip in economic activity. For now, I am still happy to stick to 0.6-0.7% annual growth rate for the Euro area as a whole for 2010.
On a related tone, but different geography, UK house prices are down 1% in February per Nationwide Building Society, reversing 9 consecutive months of growth. The end of stamp duty holiday is to be blamed, as well as poor weather. But in my view, the reversal is a sign that absent stimulus (tax or spending) there is simply no fundamentals-justified demand in the market.