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.
A surprisingly strong surge in British manufacturing growth last month has left a few economists scratching their heads. Is it a one-off? Could a manufacturing recovery really appear out of seemingly nowhere?
The recent stretch of dire economic data from Germany is starting to bear an unfortunate resemblance to late 2008 – when Lehman Brothers collapsed and the world tipped into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
French economic growth unexpectedly picked up to 0.3 percent in the final three months of last year, welcome news and a rare positive shock for some particularly gloomy forecasters who were looking for shrinkage or no growth at all.
Britain’s economy is steaming ahead – by one measure faster than any other large developed or emerging economy – but history suggests it will struggle to sustain the rapid growth indicated in business and confidence surveys.