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07.02.2019 17:07

ECB Economic Bulletin: incoming information about Eurozone activity has surprised on the downside

  • The persistence of uncertainties relating to geopolitical factors and the threat of protectionism is weighing on economic sentiment.

  • Supportive financing conditions, favourable labour market dynamics and rising wage growth continue to underpin the euro area expansion and gradually rising inflation pressures.

  • Significant monetary policy stimulus remains essential to support the further build-up of domestic price pressures and headline inflation developments over the medium term.

  • The global economic growth momentum has slowed recently amid geopolitical uncertainties and vulnerabilities in emerging markets.

  • Global trade decelerated towards the end of 2018 as downside risks related to unresolved trade disputes remained prominent and growth in emerging markets slowed down.

  • While financial conditions are favourable overall, the weaker global growth momentum has fuelled stock market volatility.

  • A more accommodative monetary policy stance has been taken in China in the light of the slowing growth momentum.

  • Euro area real GDP increased by 0.2%, quarter on quarter, in the third quarter of 2018, following growth of 0.4% in the previous two quarters.

  • Incoming data have continued to be weaker than expected resulting from a slowdown in external demand which was compounded by several country and sector-specific factors.

  • While the impact of some of these factors is expected to fade, the near-term growth momentum is likely to be weaker than previously anticipated.

  • Looking ahead, the euro area expansion will continue to be supported by favourable financing conditions, further employment


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Market focus

  • Germany's trade surplus rose slightly in October
  • Swiss unemployment rate remained unchanged in November
  • China says hopes it can reach trade agreement with U.S. as soon as possible
  • Eurozone investor confidence rose sharply in December - Sentix
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