Germany accounts for almost all the intra European Union current account surplus plus the European Union posts a record external current account surplus with the U.S.

Sixteen members of the European Union recorded current account surpluses, eleven current account deficits and one was in current account balance in the second quarter of 2018 for the total (intra-EU plus extra-EU) current account balances of the European Union (EU28) Member States.

The highest surpluses were observed in Germany (+€63.8 bn), the Netherlands (+€16.8 bn), Italy (+€10.5 bn), Ireland (+€10.2 bn) and Denmark (+€3.6), and the largest deficits in the United Kingdom (-€20.7 bn), Romania (-€2.6 bn) and Belgium (-€2.4 bn).

EU current account balance member states Q2 2018
Source: Eurostat

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Are major exporter countries to the United States really manipulating their currency to boost exports?

The Euro Area, China, Canada, Mexico and Japan together account for over 70% of U.S. trade. Have these countries (including the Euro Area group of countries) manipulated their currencies to boost exports? In this century (2000 onwards) the Chinese Yuan, the Canadian Dollar and the Euro have appreciated against the dollar. The Japanese Yen has been largely unchanged against the U.S. dollar since the start of this century and only the Mexican Peso has weakened against the dollar.

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Euro Area or Eurozone Money Velocity seems to be shockingly low

We couldn’t find any official Money Velocity numbers for the Euro Area (Eurozone) so calculated it using the Equation of Exchange

Equation of Exchange

MV=PQ

Money Supply (M) * Money Velocity (V) = Price level (P) * Real economic output (Q)

Which means Money Supply * Money Velocity = Nominal GDP

Therefore, Money Velocity = Nominal GDP/Money Supply

We have the numbers for both Money Supply (from OECD – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and Nominal GDP (from Eurostat) for the Euro Area.

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Eurozone Q2 2018 GDP up by 0.3% and European Union Q2 2018 GDP up by 0.4% as Household saving rate falls to the lowest in over a decade

Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.3% in the Eurozone and by 0.4% in the European Union (EU28) during the second quarter (Q2) of 2018, compared with the previous quarter, according to a preliminary flash estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

EU GDP until Q2 2018 chart
Source: Eurostat

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Here’s how much money supply has grown for major economies in the past decade (2008 to 2018)

Broad Money M3

Broad money (M3) includes currency, deposits with an agreed maturity of up to two years, deposits redeemable at notice of up to three months and repurchase agreements, money market fund shares/units and debt securities up to two years.

M3 Money Supply Growth Global
Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

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The U.S. and mainland Europe have moved in different directions over the past year on interest rates, equity returns, bond yields and government borrowing

Interest Rates

What a difference a year makes. The Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates thrice (in December, March and June) with a target rate range of 1.75% to 2% now. The Eurozone meanwhile maintains its zero-interest rate policy.

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This is what is likely to happen when the European Central Bank ends bond buying

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on Wednesday that it will halve its bond buys to 15 billion Euros (from the current 30 billion Euros) a month from October then shut the programme at the end of the year.

Source: European Central Bank

ECB’s balance sheet has increased by 2 trillion Euros since 2015 when it announced its bond buying programme. 2-year yields for most of the Eurozone countries are currently negative and 10-year yields in most cases are lower than that of the United States. The European Central Bank (ECB) is by far the biggest holder of European bonds and the biggest (almost 90%) buyer of the weaker Eurozone (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece) countries debt since 2015. The ECB balance sheet is now over 4.5 trillion Euros, some 45% of Eurozone GDP.

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Unemployment in Europe is lowest since 2008 but is still twice that of the United States

The Euro Area unemployment rate was 8.5% in April 2018, down from 8.6% in March 2018 and from 9.2% in April 2017. This is the lowest since December 2008 but still more than double of the US unemployment rate of 3.9% reported in April (the US unemployment rate further fell to 3.8% in May). The EU28 unemployment rate was 7.1% in April 2018, stable compared with March 2018 and down from 7.8% in April 2017. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since September 2008.

Data Source: Eurostat (for the European Union and Iceland), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (for Switzerland), Office for National Statistics (for the United Kingdom)
Data Source: Eurostat (for the European Union and Iceland), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (for Switzerland), Office for National Statistics (for the United Kingdom)

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