Friday, July 29, 2011

29/07/2011: Euro area leading economic indicators - July 2011

The new Euro area leading growth indicator - eurocoin - published by CEPR and Banca d'Italia is out for July, showing signficant slowdown in economic activity in the Euro area ahead. Headline numbers are:
  • Euro-coin fell in July for the second month in a row, declining from 0.62 in May to 0.52 in June and to 0.45 in July.
  • 3 months average through June was 0.58 and 6 months average through June was 0.56. In July these declined to 0.53 and 0.555 respectively.
  • Year on year June 2011 reading was 13.04 higher. July 2011 reading was 12.5% above that for July 2010.
  • With historical standard deviation for eurocoin at 0.4594 > current July 2011 reading, this month reading is statistically insignificantly different from zero. The same is confirmed by looking at the crisis period standard deviation from January 2008 through current reading, which stands at 0.6288.
  • The latest eurocoin implies Euro area growth rate of 1.81% pa, down from 2.24% pa growth predicted by the 6mo moving average.
  • Core drivers of slowdown are: falling business confidence, stock market performance and widening spreads between long and short-term interest rates (cost of capital rising).

Updating figures for ECB rate policy determinants:

The above still support my view that equilibrium repo rate consistent with ECB's medium term inflation target is around 3.0-3.25%, well ahead of the current rate.

Latest industrial production (through May 2011) shows downward turn in growth in Germany, France and Spain, with Spain posting contraction in output, while France virtually reaching zero growth point. Italy is the only country of the Euro area Big 4 still showing accelerating growth in industrial production. Hence, overall for the Euro area, industrial output was nearly at zero growth line in May 2011, having posted 4 consecutive months of declining growth.

PMI composite for Euro area business confidence is now for the second month in a row firmly in the contraction zone. Consumer confidence is now at zero expansion in July, having declined over the last 2 months, with Italy, Spain and France all showing persistent declines in consumer confidence.
Chart source (here).

Lastly, exports show falling rates of growth over a number of consecutive months through May 2011 in France, Italy and Spain.
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