Economy 2 MIN READ

Europe has a data fest, and growth worries

May 16, 2023By Reuters

Tuesday’s a busy day for European markets. We get preliminary growth numbers for the euro zone, inflation in Italy, jobless data for Britain and, crucially, the German economic sentiment ZEW survey.

No surprises are seen in euro zone GDP data – rather, analysts assume the tepid pace seen in the fourth quarter hasn’t picked up.

That leaves the German ZEW survey for May in the spotlight. There, too, the economic situation was considered relatively negative last month.

Weakness in the euro zone’s largest economy will be a matter of concern for market bulls, given they just saw Asia’s largest economy is still struggling to get demand going and doing little for global trade.

As stock markets pause to take stock, the dollar  too is ceding a bit of ground mainly to sterling  and the Canadian dollar, and a bit to the euro.

A June rate rise by the European Central Bank seems certain, and a Reuters poll shows the ECB will hike at each of the next two meetings.

UK labour market data is a biggie too for sterling this week, offering insight into the headline pay growth that the hawkish Bank of England is eyeing.

In the background to all this data-diving is the usual drawn-out US debt ceiling debate. With a little more than two weeks to go before the US government could run short of money to pay its bills, President Joe Biden and Republican House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy meet on Tuesday to find common ground on spending levels and whatever else it takes to agree on an increase in the nation’s USD 31.4 trillion debt limit. Here’s an explainer.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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