The rise in EU28 GDP of 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2013 followed 0.3% of the third quarter, although the preliminary estimate for Q1 2014 was a drop back to 0.3%, perhaps confirming the view that it is a recovery but a slow one. Lower still was the eurozone growth of 0.2% in the first quarter, a repeat of the fourth quarter rate.
The most positive indicator in the fourth quarter (the first quarter data is not yet available) came from fixed capital investment, which contributed 1.1% points to the growth, the strongest since the ‘blip’ of 1.5% points in Q2 2010. Such growth, assuming that it can be maintained, is a very positive indicator of business sentiment, as it suggests renewed investment in increased output to meet anticipated demand. Household spending growth was, however, a mere 0.1% point contribution in Q4 (after 0.3% points in Q3), confirming the weak recovery in consumer spending.
Source : AXA Real Estate