A economia do UK versus a da Europa

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A economia do UK versus a da Europa
« em: Maio 19, 2004, 06:47:28 pm »
Ora aí estam os benefícios de não se seguir à cega as políticais sociaís, e económicas do comité central europeu em Bruxelas....
Gap widens as European growth lags behind UK

May 17 2004

Economic performance across mainland Europe will lag behind the UK, according to the latest European Business Trends report from BDO Stoy Hayward. The strength of the euro, coupled with weak consumer spending in the area, will result in slower recovery than that expected in the UK.

The research indicates that while conditions are improving on the continent – set to be further boosted by the accession of the new EU member states which have been growing at a faster rate on average than the existing EU countries – economic growth in the eurozone is expected to be only 2.6 per cent in quarter three of 2004. This trails the UK’s expected growth rate of 4.2 per cent in the same quarter.

There has been much recent media attention around the fact that the UK will overtake Germany to become Europe’s largest economy in about 20 years, should current trends continue. In the short term, German businesses have been hit hardest by the euro’s sharp rise on foreign exchanges, with firms receiving fewer orders as a result. Meanwhile, with Italy still reeling from the effects of the Parmalat scandal, France looks set to be the UK’s nearest contender in terms of economic growth, with a predicted growth rate of 2.9 per cent by the end of 2004.

The BDO euro area optimism index – an indicator of GDP growth two quarters ahead – increased 0.7 points in April 2004 to 99.2, its highest level since April 2001. Yet whilst UK consumer spending remains buoyant, the more cautious behaviour of continental consumers is slowing economic growth in the area. This is reflected in the performance of the service sector in the eurozone which edged up just 0.3 per cent to 99.4 in the last quarter. The manufacturing index, however, pushed up from 96.9 to 98.5 in April as the impact of overseas recovery filtered through, boosting firms’ expectations of more favourable trading conditions later this year.

The euro area poll of polls shows that the BDO output index – which relates closely to GDP movements a quarter ahead – increased by 0.5 points in April 2004 to 100.1, well behind the UK’s level of 103.5. However, even though manufacturers in the euro area showed a significant increase in optimism, the sector only edged up 0.3 points to 101.1 on the output index, due to orders being dampened in the short term by the strong euro.

The BDO inflation index – which correlates closely with inflation movements one quarter ahead – rose to 97.2 in April 2004 as trading conditions steadily improved in the euro area. While the index has increased, it still points to low inflation – bad news for businesses hoping for a cut in European Central Bank interest rates in the near future. And with UK rates unlikely to fall, the interest rate gap between the euro area and the UK, currently 2.25 percentage points, could increase further.

Peter Hemington, partner at BDO Stoy Hayward said: “Optimism and output are improving in the eurozone, but the rate of growth remains slow. Conversely, our survey shows that confidence and output in the UK are high. As a result, eurozone will continue to lag behind the UK, US and the Far East.”

Douglas McWilliams, chief executive of the centre for economics and business research (cebr) said: “Currently the economic climate is more favourable for businesses in the UK, but the European poll of polls indicates that conditions will improve in the euro area. UK firms should be aware that if the pound continues to rise against the euro, then firms on the continent could begin to enjoy a competitive advantage.”
"Esta é a ditosa pátria minha amada."