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The European recession might be over, but the case is not completely clear [ClearOnMoney]
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The European recession might be over, but the case is not completely clear

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Commentary

The European recession might be over, but the case is not completely clear

22 Sep 2013 by Jim Fickett.

The talking heads are sure the European recession is over. There is a reasonable chance they are right.

Here is real GDP through Q2:

(See the Reference page EU output for sources, background, and past commentary.)

Note that this series is NOT very noisy, so a movement in one direction for one quarter is usually followed by more movement in the same direction. So yes, the latest upward move is quite good news, and may well mean the end of the recession.

But, on the other hand, these are not normal times. And more quickly responding series are not clearly indicating that growth is definitely positive now. From Eurostat, here are industrial production, construction, and retail:

The data are still more than a little ambiguous. So yes, I'd guess the recession is over, but I don't think the case is really clear yet.

Note, by the way, that in April Michael Biggs, originator of the credit impulse concept, wrote “In the euro area credit growth has stabilised in recent months and the credit impulse has moved up towards neutral. This should be consistent with at least a stabilization in real private sector demand growth. Recent euro area economic releases have been disappointing, but the fundamental case for a rebound remains strong.”