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Eurozone GDP: Germany stagnates, but France, Spain and Italy beat forecasts – business live


Introduction: France avoids recession with 0.5% growth

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of business, the world economy and the financial markets.

Today we discover how the eurozone economy fared in the first full quarter since the Ukraine war drove up energy prices and disrupted supply chains, slowing global growth.

And the breaking news is that France has avoided recession, by returning to growth in April-June as stronger exports helped offset weak domestic demand.

French GDP rose by 0.5% in Q2, figures just released show, having shrunk by 0.2% in January-March as rising inflation hit the eurozone’s second-largest economy.

That’s stronger than expected, and means France has avoided two quarters of falling growth in a row.

France’s statistics body INSEE says “GDP in volume terms strongly recovered after the decline in the previous quarter”.

Foreign trade lifted growth, with exports rising 0.8% and imports falling by 0.6%.

But household consumption expenditure fell again, as French consumers were squeezed by rising prices.

We also get growth figures from across the eurozone through the morning, which are likely to show a generally weak quarter of economic activity, and continued high inflation.

Michael Hewson of CMC Markets says:

On the broad EU basis Q2 GDP is expected to slow to 0.2% from 0.6% in Q1. In Germany we will be lucky to see any expansion at all and given the current geopolitical and economic backdrop this could be as good as it gets for a while.

We also get a quick snapshot of flash CPI inflation for July after the numbers from Germany jumped higher to 8.5% in numbers released yesterday.

And with the US economy shrinking for two quarters in a row, the outlook for the world economy in the months ahead looks uncertain.

Also coming up today

UK bank NatWest is reporting results, while staff at telecoms group BT are holding their first national strike in decades.

Energy groups Shell and Centrica are facing heavy criticism after reporting a surge in profits, and hefty payouts to shareholders yesterday:

Overnight, tech giants Apple and Amazon have beaten Wall Street expectations.

  • Amazon reported its second quarterly loss in a row on Thursday but the company’s also beat revenue expectations and gave an upbeat forecast for the remainder of the year; shares jumped over 10% in after-hours trading
  • Apple reported higher-than-expected profit and sales as demand for iPhones held firm, despite the slowing US economy and rising inflation

The agenda

  • 6.30am BST: French GDP report for Q2
  • 8am BST: Spanish GDP report for Q2
  • 8am BST: Austria GDP report for Q2
  • 9am BST: German GDP report for Q2
  • 9am BST: Italian GDP report for Q2
  • 9,30am BST: UK mortgage approvals and consumer credit report
  • 10am BST: Eurozone GDP report for Q2
  • 10am BST: Eurozone inflation report for July
  • 1.30pm BST: US personal income and spending report

Key events

Filters BETA

German economy stagnates

Newflash: Germany’s economy failed to grow in the last quarter, as Europe’s economy was hit by soaring prices and supply chain disruption following the Ukraine war.

German GDP was unchanged in Q2 compared to Q1, a little worse than expected, and just 1.5% higher than a year ago.

Statistics body Destatis says weak trade hit growth.

The economy was mainly supported by private and government consumer spending, while the trade balance dampened economic growth.

The difficult global economic conditions with the ongoing corona pandemic, disrupted supply chains, rising prices and the war in Ukraine are clearly reflected in economic development.

Germany Econ. Stats Released:
German GDP (QoQ) (Q2)
Actual: 0.0%
Expected: 0.1%
Prior: 0.2%
Worse Than Expected

— TraderTalent (@TraderTalent) July 29, 2022

Germany Econ. Stats Released:
German GDP (YoY) (Q2)
Actual: 1.5%
Expected: 1.8%
Prior: 4.0%
Worse Than Expected

— TraderTalent (@TraderTalent) July 29, 2022

But….Germany’s growth in the first quarter has been revised to +0.8%, compared with 0.2% previously, so it started 2022 stronger than we thought.

Italy has smashed forecasts, bringing some relief as the country tries to navigate its political crisis amid the energy crunch.

The Italian economy grew by 1% in April-June, around three times faster than expected.

#Italy GDP came in much stronger than expected, with 1% growth vs a 0.3% forecast

France and Spain also came in much better than estimated. Europe is beating expectations by a distance

*ITALY PRELIM 2Q GDP RISES 1% Q/Q; EST. +0.3%https://t.co/YuQw2Lo9BN via @markets

— Alessandro Speciale (@aspeciale) July 29, 2022

Spain GDP bounces 1.1% in the second quarter while inflation soars to 10.8% in July.

Tourism recovery and consumption drive GDP higher.

via Bloomberg pic.twitter.com/EuRTUUOcD7

— Daniel Lacalle (@dlacalle_IA) July 29, 2022

Kalyeena Makortoff

Kalyeena Makortoff

In the City, shares in NatWest have soared 8% after the bank announced a special dividend for shareholders and raised its full-year guidance.

That payment means the UK government is in line for £1bn thanks to from its near-50% stake in the group, which also reports a dip in second quarter profits and “uncertainty” over the UK’s economic outlook.

NatWest revealed on Friday it was poised to issue dividends worth 20.3p a share, after reporting “strong growth” in lending and deposits across the business, thanks in part to rising interest rates that meant it could charge borrowers more for loans and mortgages.

Nearly half of the dividends – about £1bn – will be handed to the Treasury, which still owns 48% of the bank’s shares after its £46bn state bailout at the height of the 2008 banking crisis. More here.

France’s encouraging return to growth hasn’t squashed all fears of a recession, says Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:

“The French economy has showed since of progress, growing 0.5% in the second quarter, reversing a previous contraction and beating market estimates of 0.2% growth. Growth has been supported by increased exports, however, the underlying picture is less positive.

Household consumption fell in the quarter, likely a result of increased fiscal prudence, while government spending also came off the boil. The overall data set is of course a relief but this has done little to completely erode recessionary fears.

Inflation kept climbing in Austria too.

Consumer prices have jumped by 9.2% in the last year (or 9.3% on an EU-harmonised basis), the highest in decades.

Statistics Austria director General Tobias Thomas says:

“In July 2022, life in Austria has become even more expensive: According to a first estimate, the inflation rate for July is 9.2 %. This is the highest value since March 1975.

While there are further price increases for household energy and in restaurants, the prices for food and fuel remain at a high level”

French inflation has hit a record high, taking the shine off this morning’s stronger-than-expected GDP figures.

French inflation climbed even further in July to 6.8%, on an EU-harmonised basis, up from June’s record high of 6.5%.

Inflation was driven up by the acceleration of service prices “linked to the summer period” says INSEE, along with higher price for food and manufactured goods.

Spain beats forecasts with 1.1% growth

Next up… Spain.

And the Spanish economy has expanded by a faster-than-expected 1.1% in the second quarter of the year.

That’s up from 0.2% in the previous three months, and much faster than the 0.4% which economists expected.

SPANISH ESTIMATED GDP QOQ ACTUAL 1.1% (FORECAST 0.4%, PREVIOUS 0.2%) $MACRO

— Breaking Market News ⚡️ (@financialjuice) July 29, 2022

Claus Vistesen, macroeconomist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, says France’s growth in Q2 was “solid”, but cautions that the boost from net trade and inventory-building could unwind later this year.

Solid French GDP growth in Q2, but it was all inventories and net trade. Significant scope for mean-reversion in both in H2, and I doubt that household spending will rebound much. The positive trend in services capex remains a real strong point.

— Claus Vistesen (@ClausVistesen) July 29, 2022

Tourism stands out as another strong point, both in terms of offsetting weakness in domestic consumption and of course, via net exports. Bodes well for the Spanish headline later.

— Claus Vistesen (@ClausVistesen) July 29, 2022





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