Friday, July 29, 2011

EU inflation down, economic sentiment down, business confidence down - is it not time to bring down the EU?

The following is from yesterday's EU Midday Express press briefing:
July 2011: Economic sentiment drops in both the EU and the euro area The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for the EU and the euro area declined in July but remains above its long-term average. It fell, by 2.2 points respectively, to 102.4 in the EU and to 103.2 in the euro area. In the euro area the fall resulted from a decline in confidence in all sectors, with strong losses in industry and services. In the EU confidence also declined notably in industry, retail trade and among consumers, with marginal falls in services and an improvement in the construction sector.
July 2011: Business Climate Indicator continues to decline in the euro area The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area fell for the fifth month in a row in July 2011. The current level of the indicator remains comparatively high, but the steady fall observed since March indicates that euro-area industry has entered a phase of growth moderation. The drop in the BCI in July reflects primarily weakening production expectations and worsening assessments of production trends observed in recent months. These developments went along with managers being more pessimistic about overall order books and export order books. Appraisal of stocks continued to increase from historic lows.

Looking at the two graphs provided on the links, it appears we are about to fall off a cliff in both instances:

Note this report on Euro Zone countries inflation from RTT:
In economic news, Eurozone annual inflation slowed to 2.5 percent in July, flash estimate published by Eurostat showed. Economists were expecting the annual rate to remain unchanged at 2.7 percent.
Meanwhile, German retail sales grew faster than expected in June, reversing previous month's drop, data from the Federal Statistical Office revealed. Sales grew 6.3 percent month-on-month in June, after a 2.5 percent fall in May. Economists were looking for a 1.7 percent increase.
LOOK also at this from a report one day earlier, from Bloomberg:
Inflation in Germany, Europe's largest economy, unexpectedly accelerated in July as energy costs increased. The inflation rate, calculated using a harmonized European Union method, rose to 2.6 percent from 2.4 percent in June, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today in an initial estimate.

Can there be any doubt that ECB decisions are now exclusively aimed at the German economy, as suggested by The Guardian, in a report following the latest recent rise in Eurozone interest rates, earlier this month:
The ECB is tightening policy in response to above-target inflation, driven by the strong recovery in the eurozone's largest member, Germany, as well as other northern economies including France. Inflation across the eurozone hit 2.7% in June.

More on this from the FT, linked here.



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