Given Europe’s deteriorating economic outlook, it is a bit odd that Eurostat plans to discontinue its monthly series on Industrial New Orders in the region and has already started phasing it out. The statistical agency no longer issues a press release on the data, but will still update the series through mid-2012. Maybe the best way to deal with bad news is not to publish it.
February’s data were released on Monday. They aren’t pretty. Industrials orders in the euro area fell 1.3% during the month to the lowest reading since September 2010. Actually, they held up surprisingly well in Germany and France in recent months following big declines last summer. The recent weakness has been concentrated in Italy and Spain.
Today Morning Briefing: Progress Report (1) Jobs are more available. (2) Another batch of strong regional job surveys. (3) Canadian snowbirds and American landlords are buying houses. (4) Multi-family housing construction rebounding, while single-family remains depressed. (5) Home prices still down and out. (6) The stock market and leading indicators. (7) Forward earnings at new record high. (8) The profit margin story. (More for subscribers.)