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ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

European GDP, 4th Quarter 2018:  Eurostat has updated its estimates and now shows GDP growth of +0.3% (revised from +0.2% in the previous estimate) for the EU28, although the growth rate of +0.2% for the Euro-zone is unchanged.  Also unchanged are the estimates of GDP for 2018 as a whole - these are +1.8% for the Euro-zone and +1.9% for the EU28;  both represent a slowing from the +2.4% that was recorded in both areas in 2017.

With almost all of the Member States now having published their figures for the 4th quarter - Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta are missing from this release - only Italy is in recession (two consecutive negative quarters), with Germany (zero) and Sweden (+1.2%) who both had negative growth in Q3, avoiding this fate.  Greece saw its economy contract in the final quarter, so is on the watch list for recession at the start of 2019.

You can get the Eurostat News Release, which also includes data on the breakdown of GDP and employment levels, from their web-site at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/news/news-releases (07 March) or request it from MTA.

PMI, Korea, Taiwan and the Americas, February 2019:  Following on from last week’s reports, the PMI readings for South Korea and Taiwan were similar to most of the other Asian countries with further reductions to PMI readings that were already below the crucial 50 level.

In the Americas, both Brazil and Mexico registered an improvement in their manufacturing PMI compared to January, reaching their highest level since January 2018 and September 2017 respectively.  Canada and the USA saw their index levels lower than in January, but they were still in positive territory at 52.6 and 53.0 respectively.

The IHS Markit PMI reports for major economies around the world are available from their web-site at http://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/Page.mvc/PressReleases or we have a summary report of charts which is available from MTA (contact Geoff Noon - gnoon@mta.org.uk).