Official figures due this coming week are likely to highlight the diverging paths of the eurozone’s two largest economies, analysts said, as industrial production is expected to improve in Germany, while falling in France.
The economy of the 19-nation bloc has edged up in the last couple of months, boosted by the expansionary policies of the European Central Bank, which in March fired up a massive program to buy sovereign bonds–a policy known as quantitative easing or QE. The ECB’s actions have weakened the euro, making it easier for manufacturers in the single currency area to sell their products abroad.
But while median forecasts by economists show German industries likely ramped up production in April, industry output is seen plunging in the second biggest eurozone economy, France, and growing at a slower pace in Italy.
“In general we have been surprised by how sluggish activity has been [in France], despite strong growth in Germany, the weak euro and very stimulative financial conditions,” economists at Morgan Stanley said in a research note released Friday.