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Euro zone financial system ekes out 0.1% progress in first quarter, misses expectations as Germany stagnates

Skyscrapers of town middle could be seen from the Lohrberg within the north of Frankfurt. Photograph: Arne Dedert/dpa (Photograph by Arne Dedert/image alliance by way of Getty Pictures)

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The euro zone financial system grew by a marginal 0.1% within the first quarter of the yr, preliminary figures confirmed Friday, at the same time as Germany’s GDP flatlined over the interval.

The print got here in beneath analyst expectations, with a Reuters ballot of economists beforehand forecasting quarterly progress of 0.2%. The financial system expanded by 1.3% on an annual foundation, simply lacking an outlook of 1.4%.

Earlier this month, statistics company Eurostat had revised down its fourth-quarter 2022 gross home product estimate for the euro zone from 0.1% quarterly progress to zero, following 0.4% growth within the third quarter.

The slight first-quarter progress sign comes as financial efficiency contends with persistently excessive inflation. Power costs have been a key driver over the previous yr, as European shoppers progressively misplaced entry to Russian provides within the wake of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Carsten Brzeski, world head of macro at Dutch financial institution ING, stated that the autumn in wholesale vitality costs, warmer-than-expected climate and financial stimulus had helped the bloc dodge a extensively feared recession over the winter.

IMF's Kammer: Further ECB tightening is required to defeat inflation

However he famous vital disparities between particular person international locations, and stated that future progress could be impacted by an ongoing race between constructive momentum in trade and wage progress on the one hand, and European Central Financial institution financial tightening and U.S. recession dangers on the opposite.


Europe’s main economies diverged of their first-quarter efficiency, nationwide figures confirmed Friday. The German financial system stagnated over January-March, in contrast with the earlier three-month interval. It was up 0.2% on an annual adjusted foundation and 0.1% decrease on a nonadjusted foundation on account of one further working day within the prior yr, German statistics company Destatis stated.

Deutsche Financial institution economists stated Germany had averted a technical recession by a “hair’s breadth” and reiterated their name of 0% GDP progress this yr, with the financial system held again by excessive inflation, charge hikes and an anticipated second-half U.S. recession.

France’s GDP in the meantime picked up by 0.2% within the first quarter, Insee statistics revealed, regardless of a spate of widespread strikes that slowed exercise sparked in protest of President Emmanuel Macron’s deliberate pension reforms.

Irish GDP was a notable weak spot, declining by 2.7% on the earlier quarter, whereas Portugal’s financial system grew by 1.6%.

Coverage stake

The GDP figures will probably be keenly watched forward of the Could Four assembly of the ECB, which seeks to sort out headline inflation of 6.9% and core inflation at a document excessive of 5.7%.

Some ECB policymakers have pressured they consider they’ve additional to go on rate of interest rises as they weigh up a 25 foundation level and even 50 foundation level hike subsequent week. The March collapse of a number of lenders throughout the U.S. and Europe and ensuing turmoil within the banking sector had ignited questions on whether or not central banks could be compelled to gradual or stroll again their rate of interest will increase.

Risks to European economy remain tilted to the downside, ECB policymaker says

The ECB most just lately raised its three key rates of interest by 50 foundation factors in March, taking the primary charge to three%.

Nerves on the European entrance have largely settled and officers have underlined the energy of the sector, although the shadow of deposit flights and additional volatility stays.

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