Euro-Zone GDP Confirmed at -1.5%, Spending Drops the Most in 13 Years

Euro-Zone Q4 GDP was confirmed at -1.5% q/q, in line with the preliminary number. The annual rate was revised down to -1.3% from -1.2% y/y reported initially. The breakdown showed contraction across the board, including government consumption, which declined 0.6%. The latter is a bit of a surprise considering the pressure governments are under to support the economy. Private consumption declined 0.9% q/q and investment 2.7% q/q. Exports fell 7.3% q/q and imports 5.5%, with net exports detracting 0.9% points from the quarterly growth rate. Only a 0.6% points contribution from inventories prevented an even sharper decline in overall economic activity. Q4 data are too backward looking to change the growth and interest rate outlook, but with survey data pointing to another contraction in GDP in Q1 data will back arguments for a sizable rate cut at today’s council meeting.