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German Growth Stagnates

Stand still on German growth, Consumer confidence slips for GfK, and events happening today.

This morning, data from Germany revealed that Europe’s largest economy stagnated over Q2, meeting expectations of a 0% quarter-on-quarter print. This comes after Germany went into a technical recession, having seen two consecutive quarters of economic contraction in Q2 2022 and Q1 2023. The 0% growth follows household consumption stabilised while government spending rose 10bps. Following Germany’s PMI print on Wednesday, which slowed a slump in demand for exports, today’s data indicated that external demand declined over half a percentage as exports fell 1.1%.

According to the Bundesbank, economic output is projected to remain largely unchanged in Q3. As we looked at earlier this week, the German economy remains in a fragile state, with

 

stagnant growth, elevated inflation and a slump in demand. As S&P’s press released noted, “businesses remained pessimistic towards the outlook as rising interest rates, customer uncertainty and high inflation continued to weigh on demand for goods and services. Notably, the survey showed an increase in inflationary pressures, driven by accelerated cost and price increases in the service sector”.

Given that Germany accounts for around a quarter of the EU’s GDP, focus will now turn Eurozone Q2 GDP figures released on Thursday 7 September where markets will be looking to see whether the bloc will be able to advance on Q1’s 0.3% quarter-on-quarter growth.

GfK UK Consumer Confidence Sinks

This morning, GfK consumer confidence beat expectations, coming in at -25pts against projections of a -29pt print. This marks a considerable uptick from July’s figure which came in at -30 and suggests household confidence may be restoring as headline inflation cools, rate hike expectations are downwardly revised and wage growth shows signs of outpacing inflation. The rebound in consumer confidence comes after the index sank from -24pts in June to -30pts in July.

All five indexes within the survey improved over August, with households seeing a renewed sense of optimises for their personal finances over the next year with the index being 28pts higher than a year ago. Meanwhile, the measure for the general economic situation over the past year rose 6pts, marking an increase of 16pts from a year ago. This comes as the Savings Index increased 1pt to +27, having climbed 9pts from a year ago.

Here, one GfK director stated that “against a backdrop of falling core inflation, higher interest rates and rising average weekly earnings, the Consumer Confidence Index has regained momentum”.

 

Today in Focus

This morning showed Japanese CPI come in at 2.9% on an annualised basis, missing expectations of a 3% print. At 15:00 today, all eyes will turn to the Jackson Hole Symposium where Powell will be speaking and giving an update on his economic outlook and views on monetary policy. This comes ahead of Lagarde’s speech who will be speaking at 20:00.

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