Eurozone Q4 2018 GDP up by 0.2% and European Union Q4 2018 GDP up by 0.3%; 2018 annual GDP growth at 1.8% for the Eurozone and 1.9% for EU; Italy in Recession

Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.2% in the Euro area or Eurozone (EA) and by 0.3% in the European Union (EU) during Q4 2018, compared with Q3 2018.

EU and Eurozone GDP up to Q4 2018
Source: Eurostat

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Europe’s aging population is set to cause huge economic challenges

We wrote about population percentage for each country by age last year. Here’s a map of population percentage for age 65 and above:

Japan has the highest percentage of over 65s at 26.56%. The other countries that make the top 25 countries for over 65s population are Italy, Germany, Portugal, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, France, Croatia, Spain, Estonia, Austria, Malta, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Hungary all of which are in Europe.

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Here’s how the European Central Bank or ECB could unwind or reduce its balance sheet plus what is the new normal for the ECB?

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.

ECB Balance Sheet until November 2018
Data Source: ECB

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Eurozone and European Union trade stats for January to September 2018; EU trade surplus with the U.S. up 18% year on year as trade deficit with Russia up 38% year on year

In January to September 2018, Euro area or Eurozone exports of goods to the rest of the world rose to €1,686.0 bn (an increase of 3.6% compared with January to September 2017), while imports rose to €1,542.9 bn (an increase of 5.8% compared with January to September 2017). As a result, the euro area recorded a surplus of €143.1 bn, compared with +€169.2 bn in January-September 2017. Intra-euro area trade rose to €1,449.8 bn in January-September 2018, up by 5.7% compared with January-September 2017.

Euro Area trade until September 2018 graph
Source: Eurostat

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Germany Q3 2018 GDP shrank 0.2% on the previous quarter (worst since 2015), did Eurozone really grow 0.2%?

The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported that the German GDP shrank by 0.2% in the third quarter (vs the second quarter) of 2018. Growth was +1.1% on the same quarter a year earlier following increases of 2.3% in the second quarter (calendar adjusted: +2.0%) and 1.4% in the first quarter of 2018 (calendar adjusted: +2.1%).

German Q3 2018 GDP

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Eurozone Q3 2018 GDP up by 0.2% and European Union Q3 2018 GDP up by 0.3%, both lowest since 2013; Italy grew 0%; Eurozone economic sentiment falls for the 10th consecutive month

Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.2% in the Eurozone or Euro Area and by 0.3% in the European Union (EU) during the third quarter of 2018, compared with the previous quarter, according to a preliminary flash estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the second quarter of 2018, GDP had grown by 0.4% in the euro area and by 0.5% the European Union.

Q3 2018 GDP Eurozone and EU
Source: Eurostat

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