Global markets are keeping a close eye on the war, after Russia cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. Putin threatened “lightning-fast” retaliation against “hostile” countries that intervene in the conflict. On Friday morning, European stocks were trading in the green after benefitting from strong corporate earnings.
Important indicators for the eurozone were published today. The euro area economy (GDP) grew 0.2% in the first quarter of 2022. GDP in Spain (0.3%) and Germany (0.2%) compensated for Italy’s contraction (-0.2%). Annual consumer prices rose to 7.5% in April 2022, in line with the forecast. The CPI flash estimate published by Eurostat surpassed last month’s reading at 7.4%. According to preliminary estimates, Estonia (19%) and Lithuania (16.6%) are among the EU countries with the highest annual inflation rates. On the other hand, Malta (4.9%) and France (5.4%) registered the lowest rates. Prices rose faster for food, alcohol & tobacco (6.4 %), while energy prices slowed (38%). Core inflation increased to 3.5% indicating a higher increase in consumption.
By late morning, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was 0.8% higher. Euro against the US dollar trades at 1.05.