Friday, March 27, 2015

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.

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