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ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

European GDP, 4th Quarter 2019:  The preliminary flash estimate from Eurostat puts quarter-on-quarter growth at +0.1% for both the Euro-zone and the EU28 (the UK was still a member then!) in the final period of 2019.  This marks a slowdown compared to the growth rate of +0.3% for both regions between the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

This also gives us the first estimate for 2019 as a whole - this shows GDP growth of +1.2% for the Euro-zone and +1.4% for the EU28.

At this stage, there is no country detail.  You can access the Eurostat News Release on their web-site at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/news/news-releases (31 January) or request it from the MTA web-site.

CECIMO Economic & Statistical Toolbox, 3rd Quarter 2019:  The latest edition of the CECIMO Toolbox, which reflects the data and trends up to the 3rd quarter of 2019, has recently been published.  As usual, the various datasets are split between the 5 themes of historical data, demand, investment, business climate and general indicators.

Among the highlights - if that is the right word - CECIMO note that machine tool orders for European manufacturers fell by -23% compared to the 3rd quarter of 2018 and that this negative trend was shared by the other major producing nations around the world, although not quite to the same magnitude.  Demand for machine tools in Europe is expected to be down in 2019 but, with orders picking up through 2020, demand should also improve this year.

In the summary, CECIMO notes that GDP growth in the EU is flat, while the US rate is below forecasts and growth in China has slowed.  The Euro exchange rate continues to appreciate.

The CECIMO Toolbox can be downloaded from their web-site at https://www.cecimo.eu/economic-data/toolbox/ or requested from MTA.

BEAMA Contract Price Adjustment Service:  Do you have long-term contracts, either with customers or suppliers?  Have you thought about incorporating something in the contract that allows you to adjust the price according to changes in input costs?

On behalf of members, MTA subscribe to a service provided by our colleagues at BEAMA which gives a monthly track of key indices on labour and materials costs.  Of course, you need to get the principle and the relevant formulas included in the contract, but this gives you a way of updating the relevant prices independently.

If you would like more details on this, please contact Geoff Noon (gnoon@mta.org.uk) at MTA;  we can send you a copy of the latest report and some typical formulae and can have a discussion about whether or not this would be useful for you.