Another mixed bag of economic data from China and Europe has left many uncertain about whether global growth is showing signs of recovery. David Pollard reports.
Global challenges for a global company. But to that list you can add falling steel prices - those, amid a Chinese glut in steelmaking, forcing a downgrade to Thyssen's outlook - as well as China itself ... Recent price data not perhaps as bad as expected - in an economy still not as good as many would hope. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: Given the weakness we've seen in the April PMIs, and the disappointing trade balance data over the weekend, I am a little bit concerned after the better-than-expected Q1 GDP numbers, that China could be slipping back. For Thyssen's home market of Germany - the latest numbers make an uneasy mix of weak industrial output and strong exports. Though GDP data due this week could show a doubling of output - if only in Germany itself. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: Combined with disappointing French and Italian numbers, I think the prospect of a significant downgrade to EU Q1 GDP data later this week is probably quite high. And then there's Germany's trade surplus - at nearly 24 billion euros it was even bigger than expected in March. In comparison to, say, Britain - its Q1 deficit was the biggest in eight years. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: The German trade surplus is one of the reasons why there are so many significant problems in the euro area. It's not just about the deficit countries. It all sharpens the debate over monetary policy. Japan now saying it may intervene in currency markets - against a yen rising despite negative interest rates. The ECB also seen at the limits of its ultra-loose easing programme - and with manufacturing still weak, perhaps hoping for warmer weather to spur a consumer-led Summer pickup.