Activity taking off as hospitality reopens

The economy has continued to rebound strongly as governments have lifted almost all restrictions on retail and restaurants and eased rules on foreign travel. Restaurant bookings are back above pre-pandemic levels and the number of flights is rising steeply (no pun intended!). This rebound is likely to put a bit more pressure on inflation, which looks set to resume its upward course in the second half of the year after pausing in June. The latest statements from key policymakers suggest that the ECB is in no hurry to scale back its asset purchases, but we think the Governing Council will begin to taper its bond-buying in the coming months.
Andrew Kenningham Chief Europe Economist
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European Economics Weekly

ECB’s line on inflation contrasts with the Fed’s

In contrast to those at the US Fed, ECB policymakers are not ready to retire their argument that the current bout of high inflation is temporary. This reflects the significant difference in inflationary pressures between the two economies. Next week, we will get the detailed breakdown of November’s German inflation data, which will shed more light on the stronger-than-expected outturn. Meanwhile, with less than two weeks to go until December’s ECB meeting, the Governing Council appears to have reached a consensus on some aspects of its asset purchase programmes. But comments from Christine Lagarde today suggest that it will avoid making any long-term commitments.

3 December 2021

European Data Response

Euro-zone Retail Sales (Oct) & Final PMIs (Nov.)

Euro-zone retail sales have levelled off since June, but rising Covid cases and the return of restrictions are likely to weigh on sales and other components of consumption in the coming months.

3 December 2021

European Data Response

EZ Unemployment (Oct.)

While labour market conditions continued to improve in October, the recent deterioration of the Covid situation and increased uncertainty due to the Omicron variant are likely to mean the recovery takes a breather over the next couple of months, just as it did when restrictions were in place at the start of 2021.

2 December 2021

More from Andrew Kenningham

European Data Response

German Industrial Production (May)

The small decline in German industrial production in May, which left it well below its pre-pandemic level, was due to another big fall in vehicle production. The problems in that, admittedly important, sector are likely to be resolved only gradually, but otherwise the German economy is recovering strongly.

7 July 2021

European Economics Weekly

Surveys overstating peak price pressures

At face value the business surveys published this week suggest that euro-zone inflation may soon rise to around 4%. However, we think it is unlikely to get as high as this and, even if it does, will drop back again early next year. The run of positive economic data is set to continue next week with euro-zone retail sales and German industrial production for May, and final PMIs for June. The account of the last ECB monetary policy meeting may shed some light on the debate over when it will start to taper its asset purchases.

2 July 2021

European Data Response

Euro-zone Flash HICP (June)

After dipping below 2% in June euro-zone inflation is likely to rise again in the coming months, led by higher inflation in Germany. But we think it will drop back early next year and remain low beyond that.

30 June 2021
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