European stock markets may have had a rough start to 2016, but the first major European data releases of the year, covering momentum in manufacturing at the end of 2015, have been particularly good by recent standards.
That the European Central Bank will have to soon add to its massive stimulus programme is fast becoming the consensus view among economists, although how it will do that effectively is far from clear.
The latest euro zone flash purchasing managers’ indexes may have surprised slightly on the higher side, but many are still not convinced that better economic growth is coming later this year.
Slightly more than a year ago, the European Central Bank launched, with as much fanfare as can be expected from a central bank, a new incentive programme for commercial banks to lend to euro zone businesses, which they had been doing less and less of over the previous few years.
While Greece has been trapped in the clutches of an economic and sovereign debt crisis for half a decade, it has only been over the last month that the risk of leaving the euro has risen so dangerously high.
from Rahul Karunakar:
Almost a year after the European Central Bank announced new cash loans tied to actual lending to small and medium enterprises, data on Friday is expected to show euro zone private loans are picking up pace.
One way or another, the end game for Greece approaches.
Last night, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras left talks with senior EU officials in Brussels saying a deal with creditors was “within sight” and that Athens would make a payment due to the IMF on Friday.