ECB Warns Germany's First Quarter Growth May Be Negative

The most probable replacement to Trichet, Axel Weber who is a member of ECB's governing council said earlier on Bloomberg TV that extend and pretend is now shifting to Europe warning that Germany's Q1 growth could be negative, of course qualifying the statement that everything past this quarter will be stronger. Weber said that "a very weak first quarter means that the second and third quarters will be stronger." Even so he said there was still no reason to revise the expectation of German growth in 2010 to just over 1.5%.

We fail to see how with austerity measures sweeping across traditional German import partners, particularly within the PIIGS, there is any hope that the German economy will regain an upward trajectory, although by Q2 and Q3 when various additional stimulus measures will have to be announced globally, and the ECB will likely finally commit to QE, he may very well be right. As more and more of the world is becoming like China in goalseeked GDP growth virtually all economic indicators are starting to lose any predictive value, especially on an adjusted "stimulus-free" basis.

We will be watching to see if economists revise their German growth expectations following this statement, and whether Bund levels, trading well inside of their US equivalents, push wider on the news.