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Our bullish outlook on Germany remains in place as we head into month-end (etf: EWG).

Below we refresh the charts of the three confidence bureaus we track  – ZEW, IFO, and GfK.  While the 6-month forward looking ZEW Economic Expectations took a slight dip in the January reading, its first decline in 6 months, it’s but one survey among other very favorable consumer and business sentiment readings and strong Services and Manufacturing PMIs.

We continue to be bullish on German equities and maintain our call of strong EURO/strong DAX that is a function of Keith’s quantitative levels and the correlations we’re seeing between high frequency German data sets and the EUR/USD.

The major takeaway for us is the purchasing power boost that German consumers and businesses are receiving with a strong currency and decelerating inflation. We see a strong currency positively flowing through to confidence and consumption.  Also, we do not read recent levels in the EUR/USD (the average over the last year has been $1.3321) as prohibitive to German export expansion.

In the bottom two charts we show Germany’s positive trade balance versus one of its main peers, France. We also note the trend of underlying strong demand from China for German goods –while the latest reading is from 7/2013 (stale), we believe that recent purchasing data and given the basket of German exports—skewed to high tech/specialized goods—should support strong demand in 2014 despite Chinese growth slowing.

As another piece of favorable data, this week the German government reported that it is considering raising its growth forecast for 2014 to 1.8% compared with 1.7% published late last year.

Matthew Hedrick


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