LONDON (Reuters) – France, Spain and Italy dragged the euro zone into a deeper downturn in February, according to business surveys on Tuesday that showed the chasm between these countries and prosperous Germany has widened yet again.
Markit’s Eurozone Composite PMI, a broad gauge of activity at thousands of companies across the 17-nation bloc, fell to 47.9 in February from 48.6 in January.
LONDON (Reuters) – Uncertainty stemming from Italy’s inconclusive election makes it more likely the European Central Bank will have to help struggling countries such as Spain by buying their bonds, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.
The huge protest vote by Italians against economic hardship sent European financial markets reeling this week as the result left a power vacuum in the euro zone’s third-largest economy and one of its most vulnerable.
Optimism in Germany is roaring and consumers across the euro zone are starting to become less gloomy. But the latest hard economic data are a reminder of the difference between confidence that things are going to get better, and the hope that they will.
For the moment, we only have the latter.
Friday’s German Ifo business climate survey topped even the highest expectations, as did the ZEW economic sentiment indicator on Tuesday. Euro zone consumer confidence improved this month too, and the mood in financial markets has been largely buoyant since the start of the year.
LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) – The schism dividing the euro
zone’s strong and weak economies deepened to include its core
pairing in February as French firms suffered their worst month
in four years in stark contrast to prospering Germany.
The gap between the two biggest economies in the euro zone
is now at its widest since purchasing manager surveys (PMIs)
started in 1998, the latest sounding showed.
LONDON (Reuters) – Hopes the euro zone might emerge from recession soon were dealt a blow on Thursday, as surveys showed the downturn in the region’s businesses worsened unexpectedly this month – especially in France.
Economists had expected that Thursday’s Flash Eurozone Services PMI, a business survey and one of the earliest monthly indicators of economic activity, would add to tentative signs that a recovery is in the offing.
Mark these words. Not only is Britain going to avoid a triple-dip recession, but the economy won’t shrink again as far as the eye can see.
If that sounds ridiculously optimistic, don’t tell the more than 30 economists polled by Reuters last week, none of whom predict even a single quarter of economic decline from here on.
LONDON (Reuters) – The euro zone is starting to claw its way out of recession and it might do so this quarter, but there is no prospect of any major upturn thereafter, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.
While data on Thursday are expected to show the downturn deepened in the fourth quarter last year, there have been early signs the region is emerging from a slump that stretches back to the second quarter of 2012.
(Reuters) – U.S. businesses have cut back expansion and hiring plans as a direct result of Washington’s budget spat, say a firm majority of economists in a latest warning the recovery will drift until the fighting ends.
Friday’s Reuters poll of 76 economists also showed they were split almost down the middle over whether the White House and Congress will agree significant spending cuts over the next two months.
And equally predictably, some economists have already pointed out it’s a preliminary report, so maybe the economy isn’t as weak as the stats show. Negative figures have been revised away in the past.