Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast 2016 Implications for Stock Market - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Odds of Winning Walkers Crisps Spell & Go olidays K, C and D Letters - Sami_Walayat
3.Massive Silver Price Rally During The Coming US Dollar Collapse - Hubert_Moolman
4.Pope Francis Calls For Worldwide Communist Government - Jeff_Berwick
5.EU Referendum Opinion Polls Neck and Neck Despite Operation Fear, Support BrExit Campaign - Nadeem_Walayat
6.David Morgan: There Will Soon Be a Run to Gold Like You've Never Seen Before - Mike Gleason
7.British Pound Soars on BrExit Hopes Despite Remain Establishment Fear Mongering - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Gold Price Possible $200 Rally - Bob_Loukas
9.The Federal Reserve is Not Going To Raise Interest Rates and Destroy Gold - Michael_Swanson
10.Silver Miners’ Q1’ 2016 Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
Free Silver
Last 7 days
It Feels Like Inflation - 26th May 16
Negative Interest Rates Set to Propel the Dow Jones to the Stratosphere? - 26th May 16
S&P Significant Low has Occurred – Not Likely! - 26th May 16
Statistics for Funeral Planning in UK Grave - 26th May 16
Think Beyond Oil And Gold: Interview With Mike 'Mish' Shedlock - 26th May 16
Hard Times and False Mainstream Media Narratives - 26th May 16
Will The Swiss Guarantee 75,000 CHF For Every Family? - 26th May 16
Is There A Stocks Bear Market in Progress? - 26th May 16
Billionaires Are Wrong on Gold - 26th May 16
How NOT to Invest in the Gold Market - 26th May 16
The Black Swan Spotter...Which Saw the Oil-Crash coming; now says the “Invisible Hand” will push Brent to $85 by Christmas - 26th May 16
U.S. Household Debt Still Below 2008 Peak - 25th May 16
Brexit: Wrong Discussion, Wrong People, Wrong Arguments - 25th May 16
SPX is at Strong Resistance - 25th May 16
US Dollar, Back From the Grave? - 25th May 16
Gold : Just the Facts Ma’am - 25th May 16
The Worst Urban Crisis in History Could be Upon Us - 24th May 16
Death Crosses Across The Board Are IRREFUTABLE Stock Market Sell Signals - 24th May 16
Bitcoin Trading Alert: Bitcoin Price Stays below $450 - 24th May 16
Stock Market Crash Death Cross Doom Prevails - 23rd May 16
Did AMAT Chirp? Implications for the Economy and Gold - 23rd May 16
Stocks Extended Their Rebound On Friday - Will They Continue Higher? - 23rd May 16
UK Treasury Propaganda Warns of 3.6% Brexit Recession, the £64 Billion Question? - 23rd May 16
Stock Market Support Breached, But Not Broken! - 23rd May 16
George Osborne Warns of 18% Cheaper House Prices - BrExit for First Time Buyers - 22nd May 16
Gold Bull-Phase I Continues to Confound (The Trek to “Known Values”) - 22nd May 16 r
Avoiding a War in Space - 22nd May 16
Will Venezuela Be Forced to Embrace the US Dollar? - 21st May 16
Danish Central Bank Stumbles with Its Currency Peg to the Euro - 21st May 16
SPX Downtrend Underway - 21st May 16
George Osborne Warns of More Affordable UK Housing Market if BrExit Happens - 21st May 16
Gold And Silver 11th Hour: Globalists 10 v People 0 - 21st May 16
David Morgan: There Will Soon Be a Run to Gold Like You've Never Seen Before - 21st May 16
Gold Stocks Following Bull Analogs - 20th May 16
The Gold Chart That Has Central Banks Extremely Worried - 20th May 16
Silver Miners’ Q1’ 2016 Fundamentals - 20th May 16
Stock Market Rally At the End of the Road? - 20th May 16
British Pound Soars on BrExit Hopes Despite Remain Establishment Fear Mongering - 20th May 16
NASDAQ 100, FTSE, and British Pound - When Rare Market Data Screams, Listen  - 20th May 16
Unintended Consequences, Part 1: Easy Money = Overcapacity = Deflation - 19th May 16
The Federal Reserve is Not Going To Raise Interest Rates and Destroy Gold - 19th May 16
Stock Market Final Supports Are Broken - 19th May 16
Gold - Pro-Inflation? Anti-USD? - 19th May 16
Further Stock Market Uncertainty As Indexes Gained On Friday, Will Uptrend Resume? - 19th May 16
What This U.S. Presidential Election Tells Us About Her Millennial Generation - 18th May 16
Stock Market Trendline Broken on Fed Announcement - 18th May 16
An Incredibly Simple, Rarely Used Way to Book 170% Investing Gains - 18th May 16
Statistically Significant Stock Market Death Cross? - 18th May 16
Precisely Wrong on US Dollar, Gold? - 18th May 16
What You Can Gain From One Tech CEO's $355 Million Loss - 18th May 16
The ‘Tide’ has turned… NEGATIVE For STOCKS!!! - 18th May 16
Goldman Sachs's - Regulatory Climate is Chilling Deals; Hatzius Not Worried About a Recession - 18th May 16
Bitcoin Price Remains above $450 - 18th May 16
Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast 2016 Implications for Stock Market - 17 May 16
Could the National Debt Really Grow as High as $31 Trillion by 2023? - 17 May 16
Gold Price Possible $200 Rally - 17 May 16
Crisis Investing - Jim Rogers on “Buying Panic” - 17 May 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Why 95% of Traders Fail

Eurozone Economy Heading for Hard Landing- Economic Forecast 2008

Economics / Euro-Zone Mar 04, 2008 - 02:46 PM GMT

By: Dr_Krassimir_Petrov

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleEconomic reality will likely prove forecasts of major international institutions about Europe's 2008 growth prospects wrong. So, let us first see what they think; then we will see what I think and why.

A number of major institutions have provided their 2008 Eurozone economic forecast. Interestingly, many of them just recently (December 2007) revised down their forecasts. Here is a quick survey: 2.1% by IMF – revised its 2008 growth forecast for the Eurozone down from 2.5%; 1.9% by OECD; 2.0% by ECB, the midpoint of their range, down from previous midpoint of 2.3%; 2.0% by EU Commission; 1.8% by ING Financial Markets. 


Still, until the end of January, most have only modestly lowered their economic forecasts from about 2.4% in 2007 to about 2% in 2008. They see a Eurozone slowdown, maybe 0.3-0.4% lower than 2007.

I see a Eurozone hard-landing. I see major recessionary forces that forecasters conveniently downplay or ignore. I see the 2008 Eurozone economy in a tailspin. I see it on the brink of recession in early 2009. I believe that they all these “reputable” international institutions are too complacent and detached from reality.

A 1-2% slowdown is definitely possible. Even a cursory look at the latest Eurozone soft-landing in 2001 suggests that it is possible. For example, a 4% growth in 2000 was down to barely 0.5% by 2002. The point is that a 2% drop in growth in just one year is perfectly normal. Thus, while this is certainly possible, the big question is whether it is likely.

The issue really boils down to this: will Eurozone's growth rates in 2008 shave off just 0.3-0.4% or more like 1.5-2.0%. In disagreement with all major institutions, I believe in the second. I have ten good reasons to make this strong claim. So here they are.

1. Strong Euro . Over the last couple of months, the Euro has risen a lot. The Eurozone is export-driven, so this chokes the export sector. Currency hedging still largely mitigates the problem; not so in 2008. The ECB is not likely to take measures to weaken the currency. Thus, in 2008 the Euro is likely to get much stronger relative to the dollar. Just watch it happen. 

2. Tight Credit . Somehow, major institutions explicitly assume that the Credit Crunch will not spill over into the real economy. This is what they assumed also for the U.S. economy. The U.S. reality proved them dead wrong, and so will the European reality. Only this factor alone could easily slow growth with 1%, possibly even more 

3. Rising Oil Prices . True, oil prices in euro have not risen as much as in U.S. dollars. Still, they are up close to 50% in 2007, from about 40 Euro at the beginning to about 60 at the end. This has got to hurt the economy at some point, while Peak Oil will make sure that oil prices will remain stubbornly high despite pronounced economic weakness in the U.S. and Europe.

4. Rising Gas Prices . Putin really enjoys his energy grip over Europe. RIA Novosti reported on November 21 that “ Gazprom intends to raise gas prices for Western Europe by 60% in 2008. Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev, head of Gazprom Export, said on November 20 that gas prices for Western Europe might grow from the current $250 to $300-$400 next year. ” This has got to hurt Europe's economy. 

5. U.S. Hardlanding . The U.S. economy is rapidly decelerating. Whether it avoids recession or not is irrelevant. Personally, I believe that it is already in recession. In either case, slowing U.S. demand for European exports is certain. I see a U.S. hardlanding and a stronger negative effect on the Eurozone economy. 

6. Bursting Bubbles . Major real estate bubbles are already bursting in the U.K., Ireland, and Spain. Smaller ones in France, Portugal, Italy, and Greece are just popping. By now, U.S. current experience should have convinced everyone that bursting real estate bubbles could drive an economy into a tailspin surprisingly fast. Moreover, drivers of Eurozone aggregate demand are countries with huge current account deficits: Spain - $126B, Britain $87B, Italy - $48B, and Greece $42B. Not surprisingly, these countries have wild real estate bubbles driving their demand, just like in the U.S. When their bubbles burst, the demand will evaporate.

7. Rate Hikes in the Pipeline . The ECB began its monetary tightening in December 2005. It ended its tightening cycle in mid 2007. Such monetary policy effects are usually felt strongest with a 12-24 month lag. The tightening has barely taken effect so far. It is in the pipeline and will have its strongest impact in 2008. 

8. Stubborn ECB . The ECB is stubborn in its stance. In its December meeting, it did not cut rates. Moreover, it reiterated its strong anti-inflationary stance. Whether it cuts rates in March 2008 or in June 2008, its effects will not be felt fully until 2009. So, there is no monetary help in the pipeline at this moment.

9. Elevated Euribor . Euribor is the Euro interest rate that European banks charge each other, the equivalent of LIBOR for U. S. Dollars. Since the August Credit Crunch, the Euribor has been elevated 50-90 basis points above the ECB benchmark rate. This, however, is equivalent to the ECB having raised it benchmark rate by another half or three-quarters percentage points. Its decelerating effect will be felt in full force in 2008.

10. Comatose Bond Markets . Europe's junk bond market is comatose. There has not been a single junk-bond issue since August. Even governments have major funding difficulties. Here is what the Financial Times reported on December 3, “ A severe bout of illiquidity has hit eurozone government bonds, threatening to impair the ability of some governments and other borrowers to meet their funding needs in coming months, … ‘ European government bond markets are facing challenges they haven't done for decades,' said Steven Major, head of fixed-income strategy at HSBC ”.

I believe that these are major factors that will affect Europe's economic growth in 2008. By far, the list is incomplete. The anecdotal evidence is there to fill a dissertation: major strikes in France, massive fires in Greece, LIBOR daily spikes of 20-50 basis points, collapsing Spanish economy, sharply lower consumer and investor confidence in Germany and France, etc.

Undoubtedly, most of my arguments rest squarely on monetary, financial, and credit issues. This is for a good reason that may escape the North-American reader. The European financial system is fundamentally different from the U.S. financial system. In Europe, equity markets are not as important as in the United States. Instead, the European financial system is heavily dependent on bank credit. Therefore, the European economy is much more vulnerable to bank problems than the U.S. economy. 

The European economy is likely to surprise downward in 2008, and so are the European equity markets. Therefore, expect a full-blown equity bear market, although I would say that at this point the bear market is firmly entrenched. 

Investment Advice : Conservative investors should cut down their long European equity exposures. Aggressive investors should accumulate gold and short major European indexes.

Dr Krassimir Petrov ( Krassimir_Petrov@hotmail.com ) has received his Ph. D. in economics from the Ohio State University and currently teaches Macroeconomics, International Finance, and Econometrics at the American University in Bulgaria. He is looking for a career in Dubai or the U. A. E.

Dr Krassimir Petrov Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife