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Economy in Brief

IP in Euro Area Still Growing Despite Slowing Signs
by Robert Brusca October 10, 2007

EMU growth is cropping to be strong in Q3, at least for industrial output. In France manufacturing output excluding energy is up at a 9% annualized Q/Q rate. In Germany output is up at a 7.9% rate. In Spain it’s up at an 8% rate. Even Italy shows a 4.4% rate of increase. The UK, an EU member, is showing slower IP growth in Q3 as output is up at just a 0.8% rate of increase. Sequential IP growth figures show us that growth has been accelerating in Germany, France and Italy. Spain shows sudden weakness in the most recent three months The UK shows some sporadic slowing as the recent rates of growth reveal a slow down over three months but over six months, a speed up.

On balance, despite weakening orders and slowdown assessment from Germany’s Chamber of Commerce (DIHK) and weaker surveys from the Reuters NTC survey as well as from various national surveys, actual production has been on an accelerating run. What we see is that this acceleration is counter to what surveys say they now expect. Some of the divergence reflects inter-temporal discord and mismatch. Since the financial market situation only began to turn abruptly in August before mid month, it is the reports of the next several months that should be most revealing as far as output is concerned. Up to now what we see is that, despite some weaker (and more topical) survey findings, actual output has remained firm through August for the main economies of EMU. Separately what survey data tell us is this: don’t get used to it.

Main Euro Area Countries and UK IP in MFG
  Aug-07 Jul-07 Jun-07 3-Month 6-month 12-month Q2-Date
Germany: Mfg IP 1.8% 0.2% -0.3% 7.2% 5.6% 6.2% 7.9%
France: IP ex Construction 0.3% 1.7% -0.5% 6.3% 3.3% 2.6% 9.0%
Italy: Mfg IP 1.5% 0.1% -0.2% 5.9% 2.1% 1.2% 4.4%
Spain: Mfg IP 1.3% 1.7% -4.2% -5.3% 3.9% 0.5% 8.0%
UK: Mfg IP 0.4% -0.2% 0.1% 1.2% 3.4% 0.6% 0.8%
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