The trillion euro sugar rush that made Q1 the best start to the year for global stocks in more than a decade has already worn off, but what is most striking is not how quickly it ended. It’s how little the economic outlook has changed.
Cheap central bank money mainly seems to have boosted stocks and the optimism of stock market forecasters, who generally are the most bullish of the lot with or without wads of cheap money.
An analysis of Reuters Polls over the past three months, starting just before the European Central Bank made the first of two gargantuan injections of cheap three-year money into the banking system, reveals what many have fretted might happen.
Derived from professional market forecasters and economists, they showed that the cash would probably do a lot to push up asset prices in the short term but do little to help a stalled euro zone economy with rising unemployment.
The consensus for Q1 euro zone GDP has stagnated at a quarterly contraction of 0.2 percent in the past three monthly Reuters polls, starting from the December poll, taken before the ECB’s first of two long-term refinancing operations (LTROs).