European Market Shakes Off Recession Fears but Misses Q1 2023 Growth Estimates

    The European market recorded a gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.0 percent in the first quarter of 2023 compared with the fourth quarter of 2022.

    The European economy displayed market resilience during the first quarter despite being cut off from the Russian oil and gas supply since the invasion of Ukraine. The EU market was, however, marred by rising inflation amid bank deposits flight similar to the United States banking crisis. Nonetheless, the European Central Bank has continued to raise interest rates, with the recent update pushing by 50 basis points, to fight the high core inflation.

    Notably, some ECB policymakers are working on further raising interest rates next week by about 25 basis points, which could push the core interest rate above 3 percent. The Euro Zone is currently fighting inflation of 6.9 percent and core inflation of about 5.7 percent.

    European Market Economic Outlook

    During the first quarter, the Euro Zone economy grew by 0.1 percent, according to preliminary figures released on Friday. The EU bloc missed analysts’ forecast on first quarter growth, which was expected at 0.2 percent, according to a poll conducted by Reuters. Nonetheless, the European economy expanded by approximately 1.3 percent on an annualized basis but still missed analysts’ expectations of 1.4 percent.

    According to a report by destatis, the European market recorded a gross domestic product (GDP) of  0.0 percent in the first quarter of 2023 compared with the fourth quarter of 2022. Additionally, data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) showed that the final consumption expenditure of both households and the government declined at the beginning of 2023 in the Eurozone. Reportedly, positive contributions came from capital formation and exports in the European market during the first quarter.

    Earlier this month, data from Eurostat showed a revision downward in the fourth-quarter 2022 GDP estimate for the eurozone from 0.1 percent quarterly growth to no growth, following a 0.4 percent growth during the third quarter of last year.

    The European market was able to evade a much-feared recession during the first quarter of 2023. According to Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at Dutch bank ING, the fall in wholesale energy prices, warmer-than-expected weather, and fiscal stimulus helped the European market dodge a widely-feared recession over the winter.

    Nevertheless, Brzeski indicated that the data from individual countries will be crucial for the bloc’s future growth prospects. Moreover, the ongoing race between positive momentum in European countries and wage growth on the other hand has pushed the ECB to further monetary tightening policies.

    As a result, the European Union regulators could be looking at diversifying leading economies like Germany, and France amid the looming United States feared recession in the second half of 2023.

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