European data continues to show exactly what the naysayers don’t want to admit, continuing strength in the continent’s core and manufacturing sector regardless of fears over a sovereign debt crisis.
The star if the show, Germany, reported a significant drop in unemployment in the country, to new 19-year low.
And this is only the beginning, according to Societe Generale’s Klaus Baader:
Lastly, vacancies rose strongly, up by 15k from January which was the biggest increase yet in this cycle and took vacancies to the highest level since 2001. In light of the vacancies data as well as survey evidence of employment trends, further strength in labour market data in coming months is to be expected.
Germany’s manufacturing strength is buoying the rest of the eurozone, with the region’s PMI rising to its highest level in 10-years.
But this is not just a German or, in fact, eurozone story. Sweden saw its GDP growth reach a staggering 7.3% year-over-year in Q4. And the strength in Sweden isn’t just a result of strong exports, but of real consumer spending, according to Societe Generale’s Anatoli Annenkov:
Household consumption made the biggest contribution to overall growth in Q4, growing by 4.3% yoy (1% qoq). Sales of cars and durable goods continued to lift the numbers as employment recorded a robust increase (2.4% yoy) and households dipped into their savings.
Switzerland, also with an independent currency, saw its GDP fortunes turn around in Q4, beating expectations and sending annual growth to 3.1%.
Even Italy reported better than expected GDP in the end for 2010, and a slightly lower deficit-to-gdp ratio than expected.
All this positivity may not last, however. Check out who’s may be next in the eurozone debt crisis >