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Bert Colijn, senior economist at ING, notes that Eurozone’s Economic Sentiment Indicator recorded a surprise increase in August, from 102.7 to 103.1.

Key Quotes

“While this is a marginal improvement and by no means suggests a growth recovery, it at least shows that the eurozone is not moving closer to a recession in these rather uncertain economic times.”

“Eurozone industry saw sentiment recover a little as the deep decline in production that the industry observed in July reversed in August. The decline was mainly limited to Germany and some surrounding economies and this quick bounce back suggests that this was a one-off. Mind you, the indicator for Germany is still at -5.5, well below the June reading of 0.7 but much better than July’s -21.9.”

“The service sector outlook became somewhat less positive in August, raising concerns about whether domestic demand is not getting impacted by the continued weakness in global industry. The decline from 10.6 to 9.3 nevertheless corresponds with decent growth in the sector, but slowing hiring expectations could cause a vicious circle as service sector demand is relatively dependent on improving employment.”

“The modest gain in the headline ESI suggests some stabilisation, but with downside risks aplenty, it does not provide much reason to become more hawkish ahead of the big September decision on stimulus.”