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Economy in Brief

Orders in Euro-Area Rise Sharply
by Robert Brusca  April 27, 2011

Industrial orders in the Zone continue to expand sharply. Over the recent three months orders have accelerated to a rate of 19.6% up from an annual rate of increase of just 8.4% over six months but still a touch short of their 21.3% rise over twelve months. Orders are stronger in EMU foreign markets than are domestic orders. But over three-months domestic orders have accelerated and have closed the gap

Orders are still mostly strong and accelerating for Europe’s largest economies, including sometimes troubled Spain. Among the largest EMU economics, only France shows some deceleration tendencies and its three month growth rate is only ‘down’ to 9%; growth in France is still pretty firm despite having ratcheted down.

Like the US economy the Euro-Area is showing its best growth in its manufacturing sector. Consumer confidence is weak across most of the Zone except for Germany and the early read on German consumer Confidence from GfK in May is that it edged slightly lower.

The situation in the Middle East continues to dog Europe. And, we are getting into period when some of the growth disruptions from Japan may start to show up. That will probably start more in April than in March. These effects could range from dropping back domestic activities in Europe (if European firms run short of Japan-sourced parts) to increasing activity if Japanese firms have to cut back sales in Europe due to parts shortages that affect them alone. We are still unable to find out, beyond the Japanese firms, which ones are dependent on parts from Japan that might turn out to be in short supply.

But as of February the European MFG sector seems quite sold and is expanding on a broad front.

Selected Euro-Area Industrial Orders
SAAR Except M/M Mo/Mo Feb
11
Jan
11
Feb
11
Jan
11
Feb
11
Jan
11
Euro-Area Detail Feb
11
Jan
11
Dec
10
3Mo 3Mo 6Mo 6Mo 12Mo 12Mo
 MFG Orders 0.9% 1.2% 2.5% 19.6% 25.6% 8.4% 17.8% 21.3% 21.9%
 MFG Sales 1.7% 2.4% 2.4% 29.6% 25.7% 16.1% 18.4% 16.7% 15.9%
   Consumer 0.0% 0.7% 1.2% 7.8% 9.1% 2.9% 5.0% 5.0% 5.1%
   Capital 0.7% 1.9% 2.4% 22.3% 17.6% 14.5% 21.3% 16.8% 17.6%
   Intermediate 0.6% 0.0% 4.6% 22.9% 32.6% 8.3% 16.2% 18.7% 18.4%
Memo:MFG
Total Orders 0.9% 1.2% 2.5% 19.6% 25.6% 8.4% 17.8% 21.3% 21.9%
 E-13 Domestic MFG orders 0.6% 0.0% 4.6% 22.9% 32.6% 8.3% 16.2% 18.7% 18.4%
 E-13 Foreign MFG orders 1.6% 3.3% 0.0% 21.2% 32.6% 14.2% 21.3% 23.7% 27.4%
Countries: Feb
11
Jan
11
Dec
10
3Mo 3Mo 6Mo 6Mo 12Mo 12Mo
 Germany (MFG): 3.2% 3.7% -3.0% 16.4% 27.3% 16.6% 17.8% 25.7% 21.3%
 France(Ind): 2.7% -7.8% 8.0% 9.4% 9.6% 13.0% 5.2% 16.1% 12.2%
  Italy (Ind): 1.9% -0.4% 5.5% 31.6% 2.3% 2.2% 12.3% 16.3% 14.1%
 Spain(Ind): 0.3% 4.5% 1.9% 30.2% 28.6% 13.3% 18.7% 10.9% 11.7%
Compare: US Factory Ord -0.1% 3.3% 1.4% 20.1% 26.8% 17.6% 17.9% 9.3% 9.9%
Some Euro-Area reporters are timely and some lag. This table allows a sequential inspection of trends regardless of topicality
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