14.02.2013
 

 

Figure of the week:

-2.4%

Fall in Eurozone 2012 industrial production




​US: positive data


The ISM survey of non-manufacturing business came out above 50, indicating expansion for the second consecutive month. The employment component of the survey rose 2.2 points after leaping 5 points in December, and now stands at 57.5, the highest since February 2006. Weekly jobless claims improved and the four week moving average fell to 351,000, down a very sharp 57,000 in just nine weeks and approaching levels which could bring unemployment down more rapidly. Both the ISM and jobless claims reports seem to conflict with January’s employment report, perhaps indicating improvements there in February. The December trade deficit narrowed from USD -48.6bn to USD -38.5bn, possibly enough to push the next revision of Q4 GDP into growth territory from its current -0.1%.


EUROZONE: Industrial production


Eurozone industrial production increased by +0.7% m/m in December, slightly above expectations. However, the downward revision in November (to -0.7% m/m vs. -0.3% previously) results in a -0.9% q/q contraction in Q4 2012. Thus, in 2012 eurozone industrial production fell -2.4%, the second consecutive year of contraction. It is now 13% below the pre-crisis peak. The 2012 annual contraction was widespread with -1.1% in Germany, -2.1% in France, -6.9% in Spain, -6.6% in Italy, -4.0% in Portugal and -0.5% in Greece. However, industrial production grew in Ireland and Netherlands, up +1.9% and +2.0% respectively. These data confirm that 2012 ended on a negative tone and suggest a negative GDP growth number in Q4 2012 (EH expects -0.4% q/q). This trend is likely to persist, at least in H1 2013, although business confidence indicators suggest some stabilization at weak levels..


china: latest data


 Inflation in January fell to 2.0% y/y (2.5% December). This was largely the result of food price rises which usually peak at the time of the Lunar New Year and which fell in January last year. Importantly, non-food price increases were hardly changed and remained low at 1.6% y/y. January trade data were also distorted by the Chinese New Year, as factories work overtime and shipments are brought forward. Exports surged by 25.0% y/y and import growth also accelerated, though both were above expectations which tends to suggest that demand continues to pick up. Bank lending also surged in January and overall credit, as measured by the broader “total social financing” increased strongly. This is likely to be positive for near-term growth of output, but may cause some concern among policymakers, especially if it continues to expand at a similar pace. 

Germany: LAbour market resilience


Although latest official quarterly GDP data have yet to be published, the economic contraction in Q4 2012 is expected to have been deeper than initially estimated. However, recently released results from the Ifo Business Climate Index show a strong improvement in January for the third consecutive month, which suggests positive momentum this year. Against a difficult economic background in 2012, the labour market was relatively resilient, with data from the the Federal Statistical Office showing a total of 41.8 million people in employment in December 2012, representing an increase of +0.7% y/y. Moreover, a recent labour force survey shows that the number of people registered as unemployed declined -3.4% y/y, to reach 2.25 million by the end of 2012..

 

COUNTRIES IN FOCUS:

  • Tunisia: Politics
  • Venezuela: Devaluation
  • Indonesia: Robust 2012 GDP growth
  • Baltic states: 2012 growth reflects resilience