sentix Economic News

Read the latest information and indications about the "first mover" among the economic indicators!

Background information on the sentix economic indicators

Euro area with a 9-year-high, Switzerland in recession

In February the composite indices for the euro zone and Germany both rise strongly. Against the background of the details given by the ECB on its coming QE programme 6-month expectations climb to their highest reading since February 2006 for the euro zone. For Germany the composite index even reaches an all-time high. The weak euro and the low price of oil may also have helped (as in the previous months). But this positive development also has a flipside: The weakness of the euro has led the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to give up on its de-facto peg to the common currency. By doing so, the SNB has sent the Swiss economy into recession – that is at least what the sentix Economic Index for Switzerland says as it collapses this month. For the “Global Aggregate” the composite index increases for the fourth time in a row because of the improvements for the euro zone and for Japan. At the same time, the slight setback for the US might be an indication that the US economy has peaked already in the current cycle.


Germany starts with strong tailwinds into the new year

In January, the most outstanding development in the survey of the sentix Economic Index is the, once more, strongly improved perception of the German economy. The composite index for Germany rises by 7.0 to 26.6 points and now stands at about the same level as last summer. Low oil prices and a weak euro continue to have an effect. In addition, the export champion benefits from better assessments of the world economy which are, among other things, driven by developments of the US and the Asia ex Japan indices.
In contrast, investors judge – against the background of falling oil prices – the economic situations in Eastern Eu-rope and Latin America ever worse. But interestingly, 6-month expectations for these regions are on the rise. All in all, investors are rather optimistic regarding economic dynamics in 2015.


Coup in Euroland!

For the euro-area economy investors' 6-month expectations rise in December as strongly as only twice before in the history of the sentix Economic Index. Only in August 2005, ahead of German elections, and in February 2012, when the ECB was about to launch its second LTRO, more pronounced increases could be observed. Also, the assessment of the current situation improves which makes the composite index go up by 9.4 to now -2.5 points. With that, the sentix Economy Clock now points to an upswing for the euro zone!
For the remaining regions and countries the composite indices rise, too. The only exception is Japan. That the euro zone stands out so clearly this month should be due to the expectation that the ECB will start a large-scale as-set-buying programme soon. In addition, the weak euro and the fallen price of oil are obviously perceived as economic boosters. And the low oil price does have positive effects not only in the euro zone!


Expectations downtrend stopped

Since August there was a strong downtrend of the economic expectations for all of the important economies. This trend is stopped now. The latest announcements by the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank (ECB) let investors' 6-month-expectations rise again visibly. This is rather remarkable as it recently looked as if the ECB would have lost its power to turn economic expectations round. But also for the US – where the central bank is on a different path – the composite index improves significantly. All in all, fears of a free fall of the world econ-omy are banned for the moment. Nevertheless, it remains unclear if the current month's rise in economic expectations is just a one-off or a more important turn to the positive. The sentix data justify cautious optimism, but not more than that.


Euro zone shrinking, the world feeble

In October, the composite index for the euro zone falls for the third time in a row. As both the assessment of the current situation and the 6-month expectations are now clearly in negative territory, the sentix indices signal shrinking output for the euro area. And there are no positive news coming from the indicators for the other coun-tries or regions either: all composite indices recede this month! Even for the US and Asia ex Japan – both stood out until recently with rather solid indices – the economic shine fades. It is mainly investors' 6-month expecta-tions that worsen. All in all, the data points to a nearing downturn of the world economy.


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