3 Profitable European Stocks Among Mixed Messages From The Continent

Mary-Lynn Cesar, Kapitall: The EU released three major economic reports for the Eurozone last week. We took a closer look at the numbers. 

One of the many side effects of the ongoing government shutdown is that the Department of Commerce hasn't released any new economic data since September.

[Read more on Europe from Kapitall: 3 Swiss Stocks to Consider as Alpine Country Re-considers Income Inequality]

Every month, the Department of Commerce issues reports on the previous month's economic indicators, including retail and food sales, durable goods, and residential construction, sharing useful data that provides insight into the state of the US economy.

Thanks to the shutdown, that information will remain undisclosed for the foreseeable future.

The European Union, on the other hand, released three major economic reports last week: unemployment, retail sales, and inflation. Here's some of the data: 
  • August retail sales rose by 0.7% from July. 
  • But those sales were down 0.3% from August 2012. 
  • Unemployment in September remained at 12% for the second consecutive month.
  • This was higher than the 11.5% reported last September.

Inflation also fell by 0.2% from August to 1.1% on an annualized basis last month, compared to  the 2.6% in August 2012. Additionally, the September level fell short of the European Central Bank's target of just under 2%.

And then on Wednesday the International Money Fund (IMF) released its World Economic Outlook report, in which it lowered its projected global economic growth but raised expectations for Europe. Citing weakening emerging market economies, strengthening advanced economies, and the challenges and risks of growth transitions, the IMF revised its global growth rate figures to 2.9% for 2013 and 3.6% for 2014.

The latest numbers reflect a 0.2% decrease from the institution's July forecast, and the new projection for 2013 is 0.3% lower than 2012's recorded rate. Meanwhile, Europe's expected growth for 2013 was raised from -0.6% to -0.4% while its rate for 2014 grew to 1% from 0.9%.

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