Wednesday, March 25, 2015

More Signs of Life in Eurozone (excerpt)

The Eurozone’s economic indicators have perked up in recent months. The region’s flash Composite Output PMI rose to 54.1 during March, the best reading since May 2011. That’s mostly attributable to the success of ECB President Mario Draghi in dragging the euro down, which may be starting to boost Eurozone exports. He continues to do whatever it takes to hold the Eurozone together and talk the euro down.

On Monday, Draghi strongly reiterated that the ECB’s mandate is to boost inflation. In testimony before the European Parliament, he said that the central bank’s QE bond-buying program, which started earlier this month, is likely to continue for at least another 18 months until inflation stabilizes convincingly around 2%. Let’s review some of the recent Eurozone economic indicators:

(1) Orders. Manufacturing orders fell 3.2% during January in Spain, and have remained fairly flat and depressed since mid-2012. Eurozone orders show more of a recovery over this period, led by Germany.

(2) Production. The upturn in Eurozone orders has yet to be convincingly reflected in the region’s industrial production, which is up just 2.4% from the most recent low during November 2012 through January 2015. Here’s the performance derby for the major economies over this period: Germany (5.0%), Spain (2.9), France (0.9), and Italy (-1.6).

(3) Real GDP. Real GDP in the Eurozone rose 1.3% saar during Q4-2014. Here’s the performance derby for the major economies of the region from highest to lowest: Germany (2.8%), Spain (2.7), France (0.3), and Italy (-0.1).

Today's Morning Briefing: History Repeats Itself. (1) Madrid & Seville. (2) Anti-austerity protestors. (3) Hispania’s religious wars. (4) Ferdinand & Isabella and Columbus. (5) Are the Crusades making a comeback? (6) ISIS following a bloody millenarian script. (7) ISIS jihadists vs. Iran’s mullahs: Dueling apocalyptic visions. (8) Andalusian vote. (9) Rajoy’s challenge. (10) Draghi’s latest whatever-it-takes pledge. (11) Looking up in the Eurozone. (More for subscribers.)

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