Monday, 21 August, 2017

Euro-Area Economy Steams Ahead As ECB Waits For Inflation

Eurozone unemployment rate dropped to 9.1% in June Eurozone economy grows at double the pace of the UK in second quarter
Jeannie Matthews | 01 August, 2017, 22:53

The annual rate of inflation rose by 1.3% in July, according to a preliminary reading from Eurostat.

The data not only confirms the European Central Bank president's prediction that inflation would remain near the levels of June in the near future but also reinforces his assessment that there is not yet a self-sustained growing trend.

Compared with June 2016, unemployment fell by 2.37 million in the EU28 and by 1.67 million in the euro area.

On a year-on-year basis, the seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 2.1 percent in the eurozone and by 2.2 percent in the EU28 in the second quarter, said the EU's statistical office. The latest check on manufacturing on Tuesday pointed to a rise in activity in July, helped by strong growth in export orders. Perhaps more significantly, the core figure, without volatile energy and unprocessed food prices, is seen falling.

"We expect the eight-year-old global economic expansion will continue to strengthen and broaden for the remainder of 2017", noted the fund manager. The highest were Greece (21.7%) and Spain (17.1%).

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The euro is on course for its best year since 2003 when it ended the year up more than 12 percent.

Among the clearest signs of a rebound has been the euro's pick-up to around $1.17, from $1.05 at the start of the year. That's in line with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Officials will have ample time to ponder economic data and policy options ahead of their September 7 meeting, and probably even thereafter.

But a jump in inflation, stemming from the 13 per cent slump in the value of the pound in the wake of the referendum, has dampened consumer spending this year, and pushed the UK's growth rate to the lowest of the G7 club of large and developed economies. The auto industry has rebounded, with June registrations across the wider European Union close to those of June 2007, before the global financial crisis.

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