The euro area's largest economy saw its trade surplus decline from €18.3bn in December to €17.2bn in January, a three-month low. As imports rose 4.1% on the month while exports gained 2.2%. The recent slowdown in growth in Asia, and in particular in China, the world's second largest economy, has been noticeable in Germany's export figure.
The Italian economy recovered moderately in the December quarter, in line with the preliminary estimates, marking the first growth since the second quarter of 2011. This is a positive sign for the struggling European economy, although the economy still contracted 1.8% in 2013
In the February inflation report Bank of England Governor Mark Carney signalled he was not concerned that Britain's economy was close to overheating, despite a strong recovery since last year. Carney said the amount of spare capacity in the economy was probably slightly more than 1.5% of gross domestic product, suggesting the BoE can hold off on raising interest rates for longer. However he did also advise the treasury committee that it it’s ‘not unreasonable’ to think that UK interest rates could hit 2.5% within three years.
Also the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has predicted that the UK economy picked up pace a little last month. NIESR estimates that GDP grew by 0.8% in the three months to February, compared with 0.7% in the October-January quarter
Another quiet day on the economic data front with Eurozone industrial production set to come in higher at 1.9% for the month of January. Later on in the trading day we have US Mortgage applications for the first week of March set to be released.
10.00am – EUR – Industrial Production (Jan): Expected to increase to 1.9%.
12.00pm – USD – MBA Mortgage Applications.