Wednesday 17 January 2018

Exports shield eurozone from deeper recession in third quarter

EUROZONE exports of cars and machinery helped shield the euro zone from a deeper recession in the third quarter while companies emptied warehouses and cut investments, showing the role of trade in driving any recovery.

Confirming a 0.1pc contraction in output for the July-to-September period, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said on Thursday that exports were the only sector to make a significant contribution to growing the economy.

The reading, which confirms Eurostat's Nov. 15 first estimate, showed the 17-nation bloc was in its second recession since 2009, the result of stagnant government spending andhousehold consumption, and a lower contribution from investment and inventories in the quarter.

Struggling to emerge from its public debt and banking crisis, the euro zone relied on exports of goods such as German cars to China to provide a 0.4-percentage point contribution to gross domestic product, and that trend is set to continue.

"Trade and the end of the uncertainty surrounding the euro zone's future are the two things that will bring the bloc out of recession," said Christoph Weil, an economist at Commerzbank.

"We expect the global economy to pick up and that will give more momentum to euro zone exports," he said, forecasting growth of 0.5pc for Germany next year, but none for the eurozone.

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