Tuesday, the day remained busy with several key economic reports being released across Europe. This included results of the ZEW survey, which revealed that Germany's economic sentiment in April turned positive for the first time since July 2007, signaling that measures to shore up the biggest Eurozone economy from the worst recession since the World War II are taking effect.
Outside the Eurozone, the Swedish central bank lowered its key interest rate for the fifth session in a row, taking it to a new low. The central bank hinted that there would be further reduction in the rate in future and may use additional measures if needed.
In the UK, consumer price inflation in the UK fell to its lowest level in a year in March, while retail prices dropped for the first time since 1960.
The Mannheim-based Center for European Economic Research, or ZEW, said its economic sentiment index for Germany rose to 13 in April from minus 3.5 in March. It was the sixth consecutive month of increase. Meanwhile, economists had expected the index to rise to 2.
Germany's Federal Statistical Office announced that the producer price index or PPI dropped 0.5% year-over-year in March, in contrast to a 0.9% rise recorded in the previous month. Economists were looking an increase of 0.1%. Destatis said the producer price fall in March was the smallest since September 2002, when prices declined 1.1%.
Italy's trade deficit increased to EUR837 million in February from a EUR449 million deficit in the previous year, the country's statistical office ISTAT said.
Consumer confidence in Slovenia declined in April, after rising for the previous two months, the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic said. This was mainly due to increased pessimism among consumers regarding the financial situation in the household in the next 12 months.
The National Bank of Belgium revealed in a report that the consumer confidence indicator stood at minus 22 in April, up from minus 24 in the previous month.
Rest of Europe
UK's annual inflation eased to 2.9% in March from 3.2% in February, the Office for National Statistics said. The annual rate came in line with economists' expectations and reached the lowest since March 2008. Meanwhile, retail prices dropped 0.4% year-on-year in March, after staying flat in February. The annual rate turned negative for the first time since March 1960. However, prices fell by a less than expected 0.5%.
The Bank of England said in a new report that the overall availability of credit to the corporate sector in the UK is expected to increase over the coming three months. In its first Trends in Lending report, the BoE said the availability of unsecured credit tightened in the last year and forecasts it to continue in months ahead.
Andrew Sentance, a Monetary Policy Committee member of the Bank of England said the economy might emerge out of recession during the course of the year and into 2010. At present, the key challenge is to support demand and help lift the economy out of recession and head off the deflationary risks associated with it, he added.
The Swiss National Bank revealed in a report that the M3 money supply rose 3.4% year-over-year in March, slower than the 4.1% increase in the previous month.
Sweden's Riksbank, considered the world's oldest central bank, said in a statement that the Executive Board has decided to cut the repo rate by 0.5 percentage points to a new low of 0.5%. According to the central bank, lower interest rate and interest rate path are necessary to dampen the fall in production and employment and to attain the inflation target of 2%. The central bank expects the repo rate to remain at a low level until the beginning of 2011.
Croatia's Central Bureau of Statistics announced that the industrial production dropped 6.6% year-over-year in March, after falling 7.5% in February.
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