Today, Eurostat published data on first quarter GDP in the Eurozone and the EU. Some cherries:
- an increasing number of countries has slipped into a technical recession (two subsequent quarters in which seasonally adjusted GDP declines). Newcomers: Czech Republic, Spain, the UK and Romania. They join Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Denmark, Hungary and Slovenia (I’ve taken the last quarters for which information is available, for Denmark, Slovenia, Sweden and Ireland no information is available for the first quarter of 2012). Sweden, which did so well in 2010 and the first half of 2011, might be in a recession as well, probably due to the large appreciation of the Krona. Oh, the curse of a ‘strong’ currency.
- Germany does well. This is due to an increase of exports and an increase of government consumption (government consumption must have increased: according to the Statistisches Bundesambt total consumption has increased, while according to Eurostat retail sales have gone down, which means that government consumption must not only have increased but must even have compensated the decline in retail sales. Caveat: retail sales are not entirely the same thing as household consumption: housing is for instance not included. Look here an here. The idea is consistent with flat imports in Germany) …