The fundamental indicators shown below are of high importance for the euro, however, since the EMU (Economic and Monetary Union, the countries within the European Union which share a common market and a single currency, the euro) is composed of 17 countries, it is essential to be aware of major political and economic events of the member countries, such as changes in GDP, unemployment, and inflation. The major economies of the EMU are Germany, France, and Italy, for which, in addition to general economic data from the EMU, economic information from these three countries have the most relevance for the euro.
Global stock markets began cautiously in September after the United States and China imposed new simultaneous tariffs, thereby raising market concerns about the slowdown in global growth.
The US imposed tariffs of 15% as of Sunday on a series of Chinese products that include footwear and some appliances such as smart watches and televisions, while Beijing imposed new tariffs on soybeans and US crude.
China reacted to the entry into force of US tariffs on Chinese exports with new tariffs on US products between 5% and 10%. However, the Asian giant has responded cautiously to Washington’s taxes, taxing only one third of the 5,000 expected products.
The Euro dropped from its top of 1.25 to 1.12 lows against the Dollar over 2018, and has been
trading at 1.14 in the early days of 2019. The drop in the Euro is directly associated with the
interest rate hikes by the Fed as the Euro Area interest rate has remained stable. Furthermore,
the exchange rate also reacted strongly on news regarding Brexit, with March 2019 fast
approaching and no deal reached yet.
On the macro side, the Euro Area has been quietly registering decent growth rates, estimated at around 2%, on a y/y basis. Inflation has been fluctuatingiii around the ECB target level of 2%. In 2019, growth is forecastediv to stand at 1.7%, down from the previous forecast of 1.8%, with a similar path for inflation. An increase in bond yields is expected, attributed to both the end of QE in December 2018 and the discounting of the effect of a possible ECB rate hike in late 2019. The hike, as communicatedv by the ECB in the last few meetings, is expected to take place in the third quarter of 2019.