The overall tax-to-GDP ratio, which is the sum of taxes and net social contributions as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, stood at 40.2% in the European Union (EU) in 2017 and 41.4% of GDP for the Eurozone in 2017. These were the highest ever levels for both the European Union and Eurozone.
The U.S. 10-year Treasury constant maturity yield minus the 2-year Treasury constant maturity yield spread has been a good indicator of past recessions. Yield curve inversion which happens when the spread turns negative and has preceded the last seven straight recessions. The 10-year Treasury constant maturity yield minus the 2-year Treasury constant maturity yield is the lowest since the last recession at only 10 bps.
November 2018 saw big falls for Oil with WTI down 22% and Brent down 20.8%. Equities turned largely positive after a disastrous October with the S & P 500 up 2% and NASDAQ 100 up 0.5% during November. Asia was positive too with the Hong Kong HSI Seng Index up 6.2% and the Japanese NIKKEI up 2%. European Stocks performed badly though with the German DAX down 1.7% and the Portuguese PSI down 3.1%. The biggest loser was Bitcoin, down 37% during the month.
The European Central Bank (ECB) only started its Quantitative Easing (or QE) program in March 2015 in order to fight ultralow inflation in the Eurozone (also called the Euro Area). It somewhat worked by weakening the Euro (€), increasing exports, giving the stock market a boost and drastically lowering financing costs for European governments and corporations. This caused the ECB balance sheet to soar over €4.5 trillion or 45% of Eurozone GDP.