European GDP, 2nd Quarter 2022:  The preliminary flash estimate of GDP published by Eurostat showed an acceleration in growth in the Euro-zone which saw GDP +0.7% higher than in the 1st quarter, which in turn had seen growth of +0.5%.  The latest quarter-on-quarter GDP growth rate for the EU as a whole was +0.6%, the same pace as in the previous quarter.

As a result, GDP in both the EU and the Euro-zone was +4.0% higher than a year ago and, in both cases, this represents a slowing in the pace of the recovery.  This was inevitable given that the 2nd quarter of 2021 saw the strongest growth in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, the negative effects of which were concentrated in the 2nd quarter of 2020.

We only have data for a few companies at this stage and of those listed, none are yet in a recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth).  For the 2nd quarter, only Latvia (-1.4%), Lithuania (-0.4%) and Portugal (-0.2%) saw their economies contract but all of them had positive figures in the 1st quarter;  Germany also saw strong growth in Q1 but GDP was flat in the 2nd period of the year.  The strongest growth in the latest period was in Sweden (+1.4%), Spain (+1.1%) and Italy (+1.0%) with Austria and France both having modest growth in the latest period (+0.5%).

The next update will be published on 17th August which will provide information about more countries as well as an update of the regional trends.

For more details, you can download the Euro-indicators report from their website at (29 July).


Japanese Machine Tool Orders, 2nd Quarter 2022:  The Japan Machine Tool Builders Association (JMTBA) represents manufacturers of metal cutting machine tools and their latest data  for orders shows new business increased by +3.3% compared to the 1st period of 2022 to a level that is +21.9% higher than a year earlier.  The rolling 12-month total is now back to over 93% of the peak that was recorded in September 2018.

Looking at the breakdown between domestic and export orders, the former was +5.2% higher than in the previous quarter while overseas demand was +2.3% higher.  Looking back over 12 months, home orders were +41.6% higher with growth for exports up by +13.4%.  However, this hides the fact that export orders recovered more strongly during 2021 and the rolling 12-month trend went above its July 2018 peak level in May this year.  Domestic business is recovering more slowly and the latest figure (June 2022) is only 81% of its most recent peak in November 2018.

The JMTBA report also includes a breakdown of domestic orders by end-user industry.  In the latest period, the strongest quarter-on-quarter growth was (somewhat unhelpfully) in “other machinery” (+40%) with construction machinery (+30%) and trading companies (+29%) also performing strongly.  Over the past year, the strongest growth was in construction machinery (+109%) although this may well reflect a weak position in 2021 as much as strong demand now;  aerospace (+91%), mould & die (+90%) and metal products (+63%) have also seen strong growth over the past 12 months.

You can get the monthly reports from the JMTBA website at or request them from MTA.

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