European economy likely to shrink in third quarter

The eurozone private sector continued another contraction in the third quarter as manufacturing and services sectors suffered from weak demand, the final results of a survey among the regions’ purchasing managers showed on Wednesday.

HCOB’s final Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), compiled by S&P Global, rose to 47.2 in September from 46.7 in August. The PMI is a closely watched measure of the overall economic health of a currency group’s economy.

„The decline in retail sales in August and the weakness in September’s final PMIs are consistent with our view that the eurozone economy will fall into recession in the second half of 2023,” said Francesca Palmas of Capital Economics.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., job vacancies rose unexpectedly in August, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released on Tuesday, highlighting a continued slowdown in the labor market.

Total jobs for the month were 9.61 million, an increase of nearly 700,000 from July and above economists’ estimate of 8.8 million. Jobs are closely watched by the Federal Reserve, the U.S. central bank, which has raised interest rates over the past 19 months to combat inflation by cooling the economy and reducing labor demand.

Finally, German exports fell more than expected in August, data released last week by the federal statistics office Testatis showed.

Exports totaled €127.9 billion in August, down 1.2 percent from the previous month. Economists had predicted a one percent decline.

On the other hand, imports fell by 0.4 percent compared to July, totaling 111.4 billion euros. The trade surplus, the difference between exports and imports, rose slightly to 16.6 billion euros.

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Weakness in exports comes from weak global demand and worsening structural issues, as well as the weakness of the euro currency, as the summer has not been long enough to have a significant impact on exports, said ING economist Carsten Bresky.

This article does not constitute legal and/or financial advice and is provided for informational purposes only by Bank of Valletta plc, 58, Zachary Street, Valletta. Bank of Valletta is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and licensed to carry on the business of banking and investment services pursuant to the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370). Laws of Malta).

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