Monday, March 23, 2015

23/3/15: Credit, Domestic Demand and Investment: Euro Area in Three Charts

Three interesting charts outlining the big themes in Euro area economy:

First the 'limping leg' of the euro recovery: credit. Chart below shows decomposition and dynamics in corporate credit, with Q1 2015 reading so far pointing to a very robust demand for credit, and (even more importantly) credit driven by fixed investment. This should provide some support for Domestic Demand, albeit at the expense of re-leveraging the economy via bank channel (as opposed to leverage-neutral equity or non-bank credit, such as direct debt issuance):

Source: @FGoria

The importance of investment uplift is hard to underestimate in the case of the euro area, as the next chart clearly illustrates:

 Source: @FGoria

And this translates into depressed Domestic Demand (C+G+I bit of the national accounts):

Source: @FGoria

The gap between U.S. and the euro area is understandable. But the gap between Japan and the euro area is truly shocking, once one considers the state of the Japanese economy and the sheer magnitude of monetary stimulus that Japan had to deploy to push its Domestic Demand up from 2011.

In simple terms, the above charts show some revival in the euro area fortunes. In more complex terms, one has to wonder what this revival hinges on. In my opinion, we are seeing a bounce in credit creation that is not sustainable given the state of the global economy (with global trade flows remaining weak) and the conditions of households across the euro area (with domestic consumption and household investment still weak). 
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