Recent data suggests some moderation in the world’s two biggest economies, the US and China, and some improvement in the weak sister of the major economies, the euro area. This Great Graphic that was posted on Business Insider captures this.
At the same time, it is important to recognize that cross-country comparisons are misleading. For example, China’s flash PMI reading shows it the weakest of the three depicted in the graph, but China’s overall growth is still faster than the US and the euro area put together.
Arguably it is best to evaluate each in the context of their own recent performance. The take away from the US is one of overall stability. It may not be very inspiring, but it is stable. China, by contrast, is soft and weakening. The soft landing of 2011-2012 has given way new weakness, which, at least up until now, has the approval of the new Chinese government.
The euro zone’s recovery is the most impressive, though overall growth is challenging and Q2 may have been the seventh consecutive quarterly contraction. Still, the ECB’s anticipation of a stronger second half seems valid. This would suggest new monetary stimulus is unlikely, but the central bank is likely to remain concerned about the continued contraction in private sector lending and the gradual decline in the excess liquidity (due to the repayment of LTRO borrowings) that had been consistent with the near zero Euronia rates.