A quick update to the old-running series: Eurocoin, the leading economic growth indicator for the euro area, published by CEPR and Banca d'Italia posted another (second in a row) moderation, falling from 0.7 in March 2017 to 0.67 in April. The indicator remains at the upper range of growth for the current upside cycle, and within lower range of growth compared to previous upside cycle:
On the drivers side, stock markets valuations helped to push growth forecast higher, while a slowdown in industrial activity pushed growth expectations lower. In other words, absent the financial assets impact, growth indicator would be much lower.
While euro area overall HICP was at 1.9% in April (bang at the upper range of ECB's target), 12mo trailing average inflation rose to 0.8% from 0.7% in March. Which means the ECB has moved out of the 'policy corner' and is now positioned to start unwinding assets purchasing programs. It will proceed gradually and at a later date, due to political, not monetary reasons.
Meanwhile, although Eurocoin averaged 0.72 in 1Q 2017, actual growth came in at (first estimate) 0.5%. This marks the largest gap between Eurocoin and actual growth since 2Q 2014. This is hardly surprising. In general, the gap between leading indicator-implied growth forecast and actual growth outrun is usually wider during periods of elevated uncertainty about the economy, and especially when financial economy takes over as a major contributor to overall economic growth outlook.