Financial and Monetary Systems

Eurozone recession fears, and other economics news to read this week

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Top economy stories: Eurozone recession fears continue; Chinese exports grew in November; and more.

Top economy stories: Eurozone recession fears continue; Chinese exports grew in November; and more. Image: Unsplash/Ibrahim Boran

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
  • This weekly round-up brings you the latest stories from the world of economics and finance.
  • Top economy stories: Eurozone recession fears continue; Chinese exports grew in November; US trade deficit grows more than expected.

1. Eurozone recession fears continue

The Eurozone's downturn in business activity slowed in November, new data from the Composite Purchasing Managers' Index showed this week. While HCOB's composite PMI, compiled by S&P Global, rose to 47.6 in November, up from 46.5 in October, it still sits below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

The economy contracted 0.1% in the last quarter, and with the composite PMI generally viewed as a good marker of economic health, it suggests the Eurozone is on track to do so again. Another such contraction would meet the technical definition of a recession.

The service industry in particular continues to struggle, as Cyrus de la Rubia, Chief Economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank explains:

"The service sector maintained its downward slide in November. The modest improvement of the activity index does not leave much room for optimism regarding a swift recovery in the immediate future."


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2. Chinese exports grew in November

Chinese exports grew in November, up 0.5% from a year earlier, with imports falling 0.6%, marking the first period of growth in six months.

"The improvement in exports is broadly in line with market expectations... sequential growth in China's exports in the past few months has strengthened," said Zhiwei Zhang, Chief Economist at Pinpoint Asset Management. "There are green shoots in other Asian countries' export data as well in recent months."

China's exports grow for the first time in 6 months
China's exports grew in November for the first time in 6 months. Image: Reuters Graphics

Challenges remain, however, with the country's official purchasing managers' index showing new export orders shrank for a ninth month in a row.

3. News in brief: Stories on the economy from around the world

South Korean inflation eased in November, with the Consumer Price Index hitting 3.3%. That marks a 0.6% fall on a monthly basis, the first such drop since November last year and the biggest decline since October 2020.

A leading business group in Thailand has said it expects the economy to grow 2.5%-3% this year.

Australia's economy continued to grow in the third quarter, but below expectations, recording just 0.2% growth in July-September compared to the previous quarter. Weaker exports and flat household spending were key hits to growth, reports Reuters.

The Bank of Canada has held its key overnight interest rate at 5%, the third such hold in a row, after 0.25 point rises in June and July. The bank said it was still prepared to raise rates further if necessary.

The Mexican financial system remains resilient, despite global economic uncertainty, the governor of the country's central bank said on 6 December.

Data from the recruitment platform Indeed suggests that the UK's labour market remains tight, despite a fall in job postings this year.

The US trade deficit grew more than expected in October, with a decline in exports, growing 5.1% to hit $64.3 billion.

Consumer confidence in South Africa has reached its lowest fourth-quarter mark in more than 20 years, reports Bloomberg.

German industrial output dropped in October, the fifth such drop in a row. Bloomberg suggests that Europe's biggest economy could be on track for recession.

Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the IMF, has told COP28 that effective carbon pricing could raise trillions to help tackle climate change.

The Bank of England has announced plans to review the risks that AI could pose to financial stability.

Japanese GDP fell faster than initially estimated in the third quarter of 2023, according to revised data.

Japanese Q3 GDP
GDP in Japan fell more than initially estimated in Q3. Image: Reuters Graphics

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Only 43% of businesses have identified climate risks they consider would have a significant financial or strategic impact and are not prioritizing climate change adaptation, according to a new report ‘Taking Stock of Business Efforts to Adapt to Climate Change’. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of business adaptation, barriers to progress and areas for action.

The World Economic Forum's Strategic Intelligence Outlook saw experts from different fields come together to explore trends and risks for 2024. From climate to geopolitics, here's what some of the leaders had to say on the outlook.

Related topics:
Financial and Monetary SystemsEconomic GrowthGeo-Economics and Politics
1. Eurozone recession fears continue2. Chinese exports grew in November3. News in brief: Stories on the economy from around the world4. More on finance and the economy on Agenda

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