Austria's growth rate fell to 0.3% in January-March from 0.4% in October-December 2018.
While household spending and corporate investment have increased, trade growth has weakened – a problem also suffered by France, of course.
Inga Fechner from ING explains:
While domestic expenditure and public consumption remained well, each growing 0.4% compared to the previous quarter, exports and imports lost strength. The refreshing world economy and especially the cooling of the European industrial economy began to leave its mark in Austria.
While imports rose moderately (+ 0.4%) in line with investment demand, exports expanded to the same extent, resulting in almost no contribution to GDP growth in the first quarter.
Bloomberg is also excited by the jump in Spain's growth rate, calling it an encouraging sign for European growth.
Spain's economy has accelerated unexpectedly, adding signs that a slowdown in the euro zone may be on the verge of turning.
Spain consistently surpassed the region of the 19 countries since the beginning of 2018 and grew 0.7% in the first quarter. A gradual fall in unemployment and higher wages gave a sustained boost to consumer spending, an engine of the Spanish economy, offsetting weak export demand.
Going back to the numbers of growth … and this graph shows how the economy of Spain has been growing steadily since 2014:
The British hotel chain Whitbread is also under pressure this morning after warning that Brexit's uncertainty is undermining Premier Inn's business.
Alison Brittain, CEO of Whitbread, warned that there are continuing signs of market weakness in business and leisure, especially in UK regions.
This suggests that both consumers and businesses are reducing travel while watching the political crisis in Westminster unfold.
She told the shareholders:
In the fourth quarter, we saw a decline in confidence in business and leisure, leading to weaker domestic demand. This weakness increased in March and April, particularly in the regional business market, coinciding with an acute period of political and economic uncertainty in the UK. At this stage of the new financial year, it is too early to know how business confidence and market impact will evolve.
The group's statutory profits, which sold its Costa Coffee business to Coca-Cola for £ 3.9 billion in January, shrank 40 percent last year. Shares were down 2.6% at the beginning of the trading session.
In the city, shares of mining companies fell after China's factory growth unexpectedly stagnated last month (see 7.34am).
Glencore, the coal and iron ore giant, is the biggest drop, down 3%, with the BHP group and Rio Tinto dropping 1.5%.
But this is offset by Standard Chartered; 4% after announcing a $ 1 billion share repurchase earlier today.
The recovery of Spain's growth rate is a positive sign for Europe's economy, financial analysts say.
Here's Simon Harvey from Monex Europe:
This is from the currency analyst Marc-André Fongern:
And here's Michael Brown from Caxton.
Spain surpasses forecasts with 0.7% growth
Newsflash: Spain's economy has accelerated in the last quarter, growing more than twice as fast as France.
Spanish GDP grew 0.7% in the first three months of this year, the National Statistics Office said, surpassing forecasts.
That's 0.6% in October-December, showing that Spain's economy has gained some momentum in recent weeks.
On an annual basis, Spain's economy grew by 2.4% compared to the first quarter of 2018 – again, a solid result.
The following reaction
Mnuchin: I hope the progress of the trade war
Given today's data, French and Chinese manufacturers will be waiting for a breakthrough in the trade war soon.
US officials have landed in Beijing today for further talks to end the dispute that has led to tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in exports.
Speaking to reporters at his hotel, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hopes to make progress:
"We look forward to productive discussions in the coming days."
At night, some disappointing manufacturing data from China weakened hopes that the global economy was recovering.
China's factories were barely up in April, according to the country's National Bureau of Statistics. It is the industrial manufacturing PMI, which tracks activity, retreated to 50.1 in April from 50.5 in March. This level indicates stagnation – implying that the trade war with America is still biting.
These trade disputes are certainly also a factor behind the erosion of French export growth in the last quarter.
While any growth is welcome, a quarterly growth rate of 0.3% is rather mediocre.
It is like Philippe Waechterchief economist at Ostrum Asset Management French GDP has been subdued for more than a year.
This graph illustrates how the suspension of growth of French exports dragged its economy back in the last quarter (the green bar).
The red bar is also significant, meaning companies are increasing their stocks.
More encouraging, spending by French households increased by 0.4% in the last quarter (from October to December). This suggests that consumer confidence may be increasing.
French companies also continued to invest in new equipment and installations – this "gross fixed capital formation" increased by 0.3% (slightly below the previous quarter).
This means that domestic demand positively boosted France's economy.
Decline in net trade hurts France
Looking at France's GDP report, it is clear that the slowdown in global trade has hurt business.
Export growth almost stopped in the first three months of 2019, increasing only 0.1% (from 2.2% in Q4 2018). Imports also slowed, from 0.9% to 0.9% in Q4 2018.
The drop in exports means that net trade has swept up 0.3% of France's growth rate.
Companies also expanded their inventories – suggesting that they were stocking commodities rather than selling them in the markets. This inventory building added 0.3 percentage points to France's growth rate – implying that total growth would have been otherwise planned.
France grew by 0.3% in the last quarter
Newsflash: France has GDP Day running reporting another quarter of growth.
The French economy grew by 0.3% in January-March this year, new figures from the statistics body INSEE exhibition.
This corresponds to its growth rate in the last quarter of 2018 and suggests that the protests of the Gilets Jaunes that took Paris recently did not paralyze the economy.
More on next ….
Introduction: This is eurozone GDP day
Good morning, and welcome to our continued coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Today we learn whether Europe's economy is still stuck in a rut when new GDP figures from the entire single currency region are released.
Economists predict that growth in the eurozone rose to 0.3% in the first quarter of 2019, from 0.2% in October-December. That would be a marginal improvement, but still quite weak.
At the national level, Italy can emerge from the recession.
The new unemployment figures in the euro zone also allow us to see that companies are still creating jobs despite the slowdown.
On a data day, we should also get growth figures for Mexico and Canada.
On the corporate front, Santander, Lufthansa and Airbus are reporting results this morning, along with BP and Whitbread in the UK, (plus GM, Apple and McDonalds later today).
. In addition, the technology industry could be overwhelmed after the Alphabet report disappointing results.
Markets are expected to remain silent after another record on Wall Street last night, but some surprising GDP data today can change that!
- 6h30 BST: GDP of France for the first quarter of 2019
- 8h BST: Spanish GDP for the first quarter of 2019
- 8.55am BST: German unemployment figures for April
- 10h BST: GDP of the Euro Zone for the first quarter of 2019
- 11h BST: Italian GDP for the first quarter of 2019
- 13h30 BST: Canadian GDP for February
- 2pm BST: Mexican GDP for the first quarter of 2019