Added: 13. Mai 2010
“I Have 80% Of My Assets In GOLD.”
Added: 7. Mai 2010
If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.
– New York Post
When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
– CNN Headline News
There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.
Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.
– The Wall Street Journal
A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.
– The Economist
More from Gerald Celente:
LONDON (MarketWatch) — The IntercontinentalExchange is probing trades in U.S. dollar index futures that briefly showed a massive 9% jump on Friday morning.
The lead contract surged as high as 82.18, up from a 75.38 close on Thursday. Such a move was improbable given that in spot markets, the dollar’s moves against major currencies such as the euro were limited to about 1%.
The ICE agreed, and according to an exchange official, all trades above 76.50 were being cancelled. The ICE was still investigating the cause of the incident, the official said.
Dollar index futures were still elevated after the incident, up a more modest 0.7% to 75.91.
The move briefly had an impact on other markets, as futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much as 99 points.
November 11th, 2009
Get out of the stock market. This is a trap. Take a close look at the P/E ratio. The ‘real’ next leg down in the stock market will be a bloodbath.
– CIT Bankruptcy Filing Expected in Days; $2.3 Billion Taxpayer Money to Be Wiped Out; Goldman Sachs Receives $285 Million In Termination Fees:
“With $71 billion in assets, CIT would have the fifth-largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.”
(Every investor is fully responsible for his/her own actions, actually for his/her entire life. Blaming others is a sign of weakness. It is giving your power away to others and leaves oneself in the position of a pathetic, powerless victim.)
By Bob Chapman
Insiders at corporations are selling with glee. Thirty times more sell orders than buy orders.
During September and October we still saw short covering. We also see that 73% of NYSE trading was of the black box variety, program trading. There are 16 firms front-running all market trades and the SEC refuses to do anything about it, so that Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan chase can further enrich themselves, illegally. The SEC calls it flash-trading not what it really is, stealing. And, yes, the SEC still refuses to stop naked shorting, which is also illegal – another trove of riches for the anointed insiders at Illuminati run brokerage firms. The remainder of the market strength comes from banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies who are leveraging funds received from the Treasury and the Fed, some $12.7 trillion. That is what this really is all about.
This is the first time ever that the S&P 500 has ever rallied 60% in six months. The Dow reached 10,000, when it should not have exceeded 8,500. That shows you the distortion and manipulation going on and points up the now blatant activities of the President’s “Working Group on Financial Markets,” which, of course, operates in secret. As a tribute to this phony rally we have lost 2.5 million jobs over its tenure, when two million are normally created. Are there no professionals out there that get it? They cannot all be that dumb, and they are not that dumb. They are engaging in a conspiracy of silence. They want to be thought well by their peers at the club. They do not want to be ostracized in the Wall Street click. We know we were there for 28 years, of course, always on the outside looking in, permanently known as goldie. If you want to see where the US stock market is eventually going take a look at Japan from 1992 to today. 70% losses and still unable to get out of its own way with an economy still in depression. Incidentally, if the US market copies Japan, which we believe it will, we could easily fall to 3,800 to 4,200 on the Dow and we’ll be very lucky if it holds there. Others whose opinion we respect are looking for 2,800. Wall Street is pricing into the market earnings not only for 2010 but 2011 as well, which is very dangerous in such an environment. We are still in the worst credit crisis since the 1930s.
Trailing P/E on operating earnings is 27 times. When the Dow was 14,168 in 2007, it was 18.8 times. Reported trailing earnings are 180 times, whereas in 10/07, it was 23.4 times. In 10/87, it was 20.3 times. That should give you something to think about if you are in the market. Normally P/E’s should be 14.5 times. Instead of chasing an overpriced goose you should be participating in the bull markets in gold, silver and commodities. That is where safety, preservation of capital and possible large gains are to be found, both short and long term. Why fiddle with an overextended bear market rally when you can gain in relative safety. Get rid of those bonds, stocks, CDs, cash value life insurance policies and annuities, which are really uninsured and in the stock market waiting to again fall 40% to 70% in value. The crisis is not over; it is still in the beginning.
The Fed and Wall Street tell us the recession is over and soon policy actions will continue to a gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth. They see no inflation ahead, only the 1.2% presently. Needless to say, they are well aware that real inflation is 6.11%.
Another great representation of the amazing loss of purchasing power by the US public are today’s oblivious statements about the Dow at 10,000.
While in absolute terms the Dow may cross whatever the Fed thinks is a necessary and sufficient mark before QE (Quantitative Easing) begins to taper off (Dow crosses 10k just as Treasury purchases expire), the truth is that over the past 10 years (the first time the DJIA was at 10,000) the dollar has lost 25% of its value.
Therefore, we present the Dow over the last decade indexed for the DXY, which has dropped from 100 to about 75.
On a real basis (not nominal) the Dow at 10,000 ten years ago is equivalent to 7,537 today!
In other words, not only have we had a lost decade for all those who focus on the absolute flatness of the DJIA, but it is also a decade where the US Consumer has lost 25% of purchasing power from the perspective of stocks!
You won’t hear this fact on the MSM.
And if you want to be really scared, here is the comparable representation for the DJIA in ounces of gold. It cost about 30 ounces to buy the 10,000 Dow last time. Now it costs less than 10.
Date: 27th Sep 09
Hyperinflation Nation starring Peter Schiff, Ron Paul, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, Tom Woods, Gerald Celente, and others.
Prepare now before the US dollar is worthless.
Part 1 :
By Bob Chapman
(Mr. Chapman is 72 years old. He was born in Boston, MA and attended Northeastern University majoring in business management. He spent three years in the U. S. Army Counterintelligence, mostly in Europe. He speaks German and French and is conversant in Spanish. He lived in Europe for six years, off and on, three years in Africa, a year in Canada and a year in the Bahamas.
Mr. Chapman became a stockbroker in 1960 and retired in 1988. For 18 of those years he owned his own brokerage firm. He was probably the largest gold and silver stockbroker in the world during that period. When he retired he had over 6,000 clients.)
Suckers rally in the markets, Dow will be driven down again, market gyrations motivated by insider greed, bank acquisitions point to a greater agenda, despite what economists and institutions are attempting, the economy will remain in a spiral
In the first three weeks of April this year, insiders for NYSE listed companies sold 8.32 times more stock, by dollar value, than they purchased. What does that tell you? We won’t insult your intelligence by answering. If ever there was an indicator to identify a sucker’s rally, this would be it. This is the ongoing Big Sting Two as strength is created by the PPT for insiders to sell into as our economy collapses under a dollar-busting juggernaut of fiat paper, aka Federal Reserve notes, being monetized at light speed as our President and Congress go on a spending spree that makes the spending habits of a Saudi sheik’s entourage look like those of a group of Welsh penny-pinchers. So much for “beloved” Emperor Obama’s promise to put an end to legislative pork and fiscal profligacy.
Even though the Dow appears oversold and could rally back to around 7,400, investors should consider limiting their exposure to equities, according to Stockmarket Cycles’ Peter Eliades. Stacey Delo reports.
Source: Market Watch
Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks slid and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged to its lowest level in 11 years after economic reports depicted a deepening recession and lawmakers postponed a vote on a plan to salvage the auto industry.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extended its 2008 tumble to 49 percent, poised for the worst annual decline in its 80-year history. Chesapeake Energy Corp. and National-Oilwell Varco Inc. slid more than 21 percent after oil sank to a three-year low as the slumping economy crushes demand. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lost 18 percent and Citigroup Inc. plunged 26 percent as concern the recession will trigger more bankruptcies pushed the cost of insurance against corporate defaults to an all-time high.
“We’re just trying to stay away from the window,” said James Paulsen, who helps oversee about $220 billion as chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management Inc. in Minneapolis. “This isn’t about fundamentals, it’s not about bad balance sheets, it’s about fear and confidence.”
NEW YORK – Wall Street hit levels not seen since 2003 on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average plunging below the 8,000 mark amid a dour economic outlook from the Federal Reserve and worries over the fate of Detroit’s three automakers.
A cascade of selling occurred in the final minutes of the session as investors yanked money out of the market. For many, the real fear is that the recession might be even more protracted if Capitol Hill is unable to bail out the troubled auto industry.
Investors also scoured economic data that included minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve in which policymakers lowered projections for economic activity this year and next. Economic worries caused across-the-board selling, with financial stocks particularly hard hit.
The S&P 500, widely considered the broadest snapshot of corporate America, slipped 52.54 points, or 6.12 percent, to 806.58; and the Dow gave up 427.47 points, or 5.07 percent, to 7,997.28. Both closed at their lowest levels since March 2003, and are rapidly approaching the lows of the 2000 to 2002 bear market.
The financial crisis has already wiped out $6.69 trillion of value from the S&P 500 since its October 2007 high, and many fear more is to come. Stocks have traded with high volatility in the past few months, with the major indexes soaring only to plunge an hour later as the market searches for a bottom.
Dow rises 11% on big rally, but October is still shaping up to be one of the worst months in Wall Street history.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The Dow rallied as much as 906 points during Tuesday’s session, as investors dove back into stocks near the end of one of the worst months in Wall Street history.
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) added 889 points after having risen as much as 906 points earlier in the session. It was the Dow’s second-biggest one-day point gain ever, following a 936-point rally two weeks ago. The advance of 10.9% was the sixth-biggest ever.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) index gained 91.6 points or 10.8%, its second-biggest one-day point gain ever and its fifth-best one-day percentage gain.
The Nasdaq composite (COMP) rose 143.6 points or 9.5%. On a percentage basis, it was the fourth-best one-day gain ever for the tech-fueled Nasdaq. But on a point basis, it didn’t crack the top 10.
The broad advance occurred as the two-day Federal Reserve meeting got underway, with a decision on interest rates expected Wednesday afternoon. Policymakers are widely expected to cut a key short-term interest rate.
Stocks ended Monday’s session at the worst levels in more than five years, with the major gauges down more than 25% for October. Global markets had fallen too, as investors worldwide bailed out of stocks amid the credit crisis and weak economy.
A trader at the Philippines stock exchange as business is halted. Photograph: Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters
Stockmarkets around the world crashed again today as the prospect of a deep worldwide recession continued to haunt investors.
Fears that the financial crisis is spreading to emerging nations sparked another day of panicky selling, despite speculation of another round of interest rate cuts to try to stimulate the global economy,
As the current crisis sparked by the failure of Lehman Brothers entered a seventh week, Japan’s Nikkei index fell 6.4% to its lowest level since 1982, extending its recent slump. It has now lost 20% of its value in the last week.
Hong Kong also saw shares routed, with the Hang Seng index plunging almost 12% in late trading – putting it on track for its biggest daily fall since 1997. And the Chinese stockmarket tumbled over 6%, bringing more pain to small investors who have watched the Shanghai Composite index fall 70% from last year’s peak.
With India’s stockmarket losing 8%, shares across Europe are also expected to fall sharply when trading begins. The Dow Jones index is tipped to fall by another 400 points, or 5%, later today.
(The Dow fell only 2,42% today.)
A trader looks up at monitor while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Oct. 15, 2008. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg News
Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks plunged the most since the crash of 1987, hammered by the biggest drop in retail sales in three years and growing doubt that plans to bail out banks will keep the economic slump from deepening.
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. tumbled more than 12 percent as commodity prices declined on concern the slowing economy will hurt demand. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. retreated 8 percent after the Commerce Department said purchases at chain stores decreased 1.2 percent last month. Morgan Stanley lost 16 percent after Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney said the government’s bank rescue is not a “panacea” solution.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index sank 90.17 points, or 9 percent, to 907.84, with nine companies declining more than 20 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 733.08, or 7.9 percent, to 8,577.91, its second-biggest point drop ever. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 150.68, or 8.5 percent, to 1,628.33. About 37 stocks fell for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
NEW YORK – Stocks plunged in the final hour of trading Thursday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down 679 points – more than 7 percent – to its lowest level in five years after a major credit ratings agency said it might cut its rating on General Motors Corp.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index also fell more than 7 percent.
The declines came on the one-year anniversary of the closing highs of the Dow and the S&P. The Dow has lost 5,585 points, or 39.4 percent, since closing at 14,198 on Oct. 9, 2007. The S&P 500, meanwhile, is off 655 points, or 41.9 percent, since recording its high of 1,565.15.
U.S. stock market paper losses totaled $872 billion Thursday and the value of shares overall has tumbled a stunning $8.33 trillion since last year’s high. That’s based on preliminary figures measured by the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Composite Index, which tracks 5,000 U.S.-based companies’ stocks and represents almost all stocks traded in America.
Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks on a television above a trader in the S&P pit at the Chicago Board of Trade in Chicago, on Tuesday Oct. 7, 2008. Photographer: Joshua Lott/Bloomberg News
Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks fell, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index below 1,000 for the first time since 2003, on speculation banks and real-estate companies are running short of money as the credit crisis worsens.
Bank of America Corp. tumbled 26 percent after cutting its dividend in half and saying it plans to sell $10 billion in common stock to brace for a recession. Morgan Stanley, KeyCorp and JPMorgan Chase & Co. slid more than 10 percent as investors shrugged off signs the Federal Reserve will reduce interest rates. General Growth Properties Inc., a mall owner, plunged 42 percent on concern it won’t be able to repay debt.
The S&P 500 slid 60.66 points, or 5.7 percent, to 996.23, extending its 2008 tumble to 32 percent in the market’s worst yearly slump since 1937. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 508.39, or 5.1 percent, to 9,447.11, giving it a 29 percent retreat in 2008 that would also be the worst in 71 years. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 5.8 percent to 1,754.88.
“We’ve approached the edge of the cliff,” Leon Cooperman, 65, who manages $6 billion at hedge fund Omega Advisors Inc., said at the Value Investing Congress in New York. “Do we go over the cliff or begin to recede? History says we recede, but there’s no guarantee. This is the most difficult financial environment I’ve lived through.”
Credit Crisis Widens
Sam Farhood, left, and James Denaro work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange prior to the Opening Bell in New York, on Oct. 6, 2008. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News
Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) — Stocks tumbled around the world, the euro fell the most against the yen since its debut and oil dropped below $90 a barrel as the yearlong credit market seizure caused bank bailouts to spread. Government bonds rallied.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated 5.9 percent, extending the worst weekly slump since 2001, as concern slower global growth will curb demand for commodities sent Alcoa Inc. and U.S. Steel Corp. down more than 7 percent. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index headed for its biggest loss in at least two decades and exchanges in Russia and Brazil halted trading. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index had its steepest decline since 1987.
Today’s plunge erased about $2.5 trillion from global equities after the German government was forced to bail out Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, overshadowing the $700 billion U.S. Treasury plan to revive credit markets. The euro weakened 6 percent against the yen, the most since 1999.
David Tice, manager of the $1.1 billion Prudent Bear Fund, advised viewer of Bloomberg TV to move out equities into safer investments
Posted: September 30, 2008
Fears that the cost of living in America is rising out of control were heightened today after official data showed that factory gate prices increased at their fastest rate for 27 years.
US producer prices — a measure of the price of goods as they leave the manufacturer — rose 1.2 per cent in July compared with the month before. The increase represented a 9.8 per cent jump from July last year.
This is article very important, because…
“The credit crisis has obviously entered into a new phase – the government has one bailout left in them, and this is it,” said Jeffrey Gundlach, chief investment officer of TCW Group in Los Angeles, which invests $160 billion.
And now all the related articles below make much more sense and here comes the meltdown of the financial markets.
If you do not know how to prepare yourself: Solution
If you want to know more on what is going on: World Situation
Take care. – The Infinite Unknown
NEW YORK – The U.S. government is signaling it won’t throw a lifeline to struggling financial companies – except for mortgage linchpins Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – marking a shift to a new and potentially more volatile phase of the credit crisis.
Such an approach could mean beaten-down investment banks like Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and regional banks must now fend for themselves as they try to recover from billions of dollars in mortgage-related losses. That is bound to unnerve an already turbulent Wall Street and make investors even more anxious as they await financial companies’ earnings reports that are expected to be down a stunning 69 percent from a year ago when all the numbers are in.
Related articles and videos:
– More Than 300 US Banks to Fail, Says RBC Capital Markets Analyst
– Run on banks spells big trouble for US Treasury
– US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts
– The Dollar is doomed and the Fed will fail
– Fannie, Freddie insolvent, Poole tells Bloomberg
– Foreclosures Rose 53% in June, Bank Seizures Triple
– Small Banks: Billions in Troubled Construction Loans
– Financial market losses could top 1,600 billion dollars: report
– Dow suffers worst 1st half since ‘70
– Fortis Bank Predicts US Financial Market Meltdown Within Weeks
– Barclays warns of a financial storm as Federal Reserve’s credibility crumbles
– Jim Rogers: Avoid The Dollar At All Costs
– Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008
– Marc Faber: ‘Misleading’ Fed Should Let Banks Fail
– This recession could easily tip into a depression
And, for consumers already squeezed by tightening credit standards, it could mean getting a mortgage will become even harder.
Investors are fleeing from the U.S. stock market, Sending the Dow to Worst June Since Depression, looking for places to secure their wealth.
There is an unprecedented cash flow of ‘hot money’, which is usually defined as short-term global speculative funds moving among financial markets in search of the highest short-term return, moving into China:
Is China flooded with ‘hot money’ because of an expected meltdown in the U.S.?
Let’s further examine the prospects that we would experience a total crash of the entire financial system:
We have seen the Dow suffering it’s worst 1st half since ‘70 accompanied by a lot of bad news for the economy like:
– US: Big Trouble for General Motors, Crysler and Ford
– America’s Aviation System About To Collapse
– Starbucks to cut as many as 12,000 positions
And now the corporations are cheating you at the supermarkets: America’s Shrinking Groceries
The Dollar is being destroyed by the Federal Reserve, which has created in the last three years 4 Trillion Dollars of new money out of thin air: Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008
Ron Paul is further warning that: This coming crisis is bigger than the world has ever experienced
and that: We are at the beginning of a huge Dollar bubble.
The US Federal Reserve intentionally created inflation and that is why its credibility has fallen “below zero” and that is why Barclays warns of a financial storm as Federal Reserve’s credibility crumbles.
More dire warnings:
– RBS issues global stock and credit crash alert
– Morgan Stanley warns of ‘catastrophic event’ as ECB fights Federal Reserve
– Central bank body warns of Great Depression
– Credit crisis expands, hitting all kinds of consumer loans
– How Low Can The Dollar Go? Zero Value
Investors like Jim Rogers are telling us to “Avoid The Dollar At All Costs” and have told us that the Federal Reserve will fail and that Bernanke should be fired (alhough that isn’t possible because of his contract), because he has created the worst recession in the end and thats why he said: “Abolish the FED” on CNBC 2008.03.12.
The Fed is only doing good for the big corporations on Wall Street. If you would continuously come close to bankruptcy, because you have irresponsibly wasted your money, who will continuously give you billions of Dollars and bail you out, because you might fail? So I agree totally with Marc Faber: ‘Misleading’ Fed Should Let Banks Fail.
Well those corporations are said to be to “Big to Fail”, but they eventually will fail, because the entire system will fail and the Dollar is being destroyed in the process and so the people will end up with nothing, because their life savings are worthless paper. You are already paying the price for this policy, but maybe you haven’t looked at it that way:
The Price Of Food: 2007 – 2008
What inflation really is, is a taxation on monetary assets. And guess who is paying for all of that?
I just love this video. A must see:
The Stock Market and the Monetary System are on the verge of collapse!
Related articles and videos:
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Dow and S&P 500 were little changed on Monday on the final trading day of the second quarter as record oil boosted energy shares, offsetting weak financial stocks amid nagging concerns of further credit losses.
But even with the pause on Monday, the Dow and S&P posted their worst one-month drop since September 2002. The Dow also suffered its worst first half since 1970.
The Nasdaq ended the session lower, hurt by a drop in the shares of Yahoo as it battles with shareholders after takeover talks with Microsoft fell apart.
The June 2008 Dow Crash
and the coming first strike attack on Iran
herald the end of dollar hegemony.
They say that pictures speak a thousand words, so let’s start this with a picture:
Today, the Dow crashed through its eight-year support level at 11,750. There isn’t much below now to keep it from dropping all the way back down to the 7,500-range. What that will do to American investor psychology and worse, consumer confidence, and therefore spending, and therefore the economy, is only too apparent.
The gold-attack on Monday obviously didn’t take. Gold recovered the following day and powered up by $26 the very next day to close in NY at $911. On Friday, gold confirmed its breakout, which means there will be little holding it back – just like there is now very little that’s holding the Dow up.
Unsurprisingly, the US war machinery is in full swing at this time. Troop and military asset movements into the Iranian theater are nearly complete, the Israelis have flown their practice-attack of 100-plus fighter jets over the Mediterranean, and Congress has again prostrated itself before its banking-guild rulers who want total government (and therefore banking) of all economic activity.
Congress did this by passing the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to give retroactive immunity to telcoms spying for the government, and by proposing a resolution (the already infamous H. Con. Res. 362) by which Congress demands that Bush completely blockade Iran in order to force it to stop enriching uranium. This, naturally, is a perfect setup for unleashing the long-planned bombing campaign on Iran. Congressmen know that Iran will not accede to these international demands.
End result: We will probably get another war because of all this, just like we got one back in 2002-03 when the Dow plunged into the chasm this recently broken support level has bridged for these past eight years (see chart above).
The problem is that this time, it is a bipartisan gang of US war mongers in our Congress who all appear hell-bent on forcing Bush to attack Iran with a preemptive strike, possibly even an unprovoked nuclear first strike – something that human history so far has not had to deal with.
It is also something that will cause the US to forfeit any legitimate claims of world leadership for the remainder of that history.
The War Currency
Wars are rarely fought over national security issues, as political leaders often claim. At rock bottom, they are mostly fought over economic issues.
Iraq and Iran (if Congress and the administration get their way) are the only two countries the US has ever attacked preemptively. They are also the only two oil-producing countries that ever went off the petrodollar. The alleged nuclear ambitions of a terrorist-sponsoring country cannot be the real reason for the planned attack – because terrorist-sponsor North Korea was not only allowed to develop nuclear weapons unmolested, it was even allowed to test-launch a potentially nuclear-tipped ICBM at the US without any military repercussions whatsoever.
There goes the “national security” rationalization for this planned attack.
This fact exposes the attacks for what they really are. tools of US monetary policy. The dollar has no real value internationally, save for the fact that the now militarily enforced necessity for countries to buy dollars in order to buy oil creates artificial demand.
The euro’s existence threatens all of this, now. Oil countries have a dollar-alternative in the euro, and so does the rest of the world. The euro is designed to not be quite as inflationary as the dollar is and has been. This is done by virtue of the ECB’s exclusive mandate of “price stability”, another word for inflation fighting.
Yet Another War Currency
June 27 (Bloomberg) — European confidence dropped more than economists forecast this month and retail sales plunged, signaling that economic growth is continuing to cool even as the European Central Bank prepares to lift interest rates to a seven-year high to tackle inflation.
An index measuring sentiment in the euro area fell to 94.9, the lowest since May 2005, from 97.6 the previous month, the European Commission in Brussels said today. Separate reports showed European retail sales plummeted, while inflation accelerated in Germany and Spain.
Stocks fell in Europe today as oil climbed to a record above $140 a barrel and Carrefour SA, Europe’s biggest retailer, scaled back its earnings forecast. With soaring food and energy prices boosting inflation, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet has said the bank may raise the benchmark rate next week by a quarter point to 4.25 percent.
``The economy has hit the wall,” said Ken Wattret, senior economist at BNP Paribas SA in London. ECB officials “run the risk of tipping the euro area into a recession” as the inflation outlook increases the risk that the central bank “may need to go beyond one rate rise.”
Confidence among the manufacturing, construction and retail industries across the 15 nations that share the euro declined this month, as did consumer sentiment, according to today’s commission report.
The Bloomberg retail index, based on a survey of more than 1,000 executives compiled by Markit Economics, fell to 44 this month from 53.1 in May. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. Europe’s manufacturing and services industries also contracted this month.
The euro has increased 17 percent against the dollar in the last 12 months, threatening export growth, and was at $1.5770 today. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index fell 1.3 percent to 284.67 as of 11:29 a.m. in Brussels.
Separate figures today showed France’s economy expanded less than initially estimated in the first quarter as household spending, the driving force of growth, stagnated. U.K. first- quarter growth was revised lower today.
ECB council member Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said today a July rate increase is not a certainty.
“Nothing is inevitable in life,” Ordonez told reporters in Rome today. “What we said was that the increase is not certain, but possible.”
Still, the ECB remains focused on consumer-price growth, according to ECB Executive Board member Juergen Stark. He said yesterday the bank sees its primary aim as being to “firmly anchor inflation expectations.”
Euro-area inflation reached a 16-year high of 3.7 percent in May. In Spain, inflation accelerated to 5.1 percent this month, the fastest on record, according to data today. Inflation in four German states also accelerated this month.
Oil prices have doubled in a year and Libyan National Oil Corp. Chairman Shokri Ghanem said yesterday that $150 a barrel may be “around the corner.”
Companies expect to raise prices more than previously anticipated to recover soaring costs, the commission report showed. A gauge of companies’ selling-price expectations rose to 18 in June from 16 in May, which compares with an average reading of 6 over the last 18 years. Consumers also expect prices to rise more sharply than they did last month.
The “worrying combination” of falling confidence and rising price expectations, “will add to fears of stagflation in the euro zone,” said Martin van Vliet, an economist at ING Group in Amsterdam.
“Inflation is likely to remain elevated for a longer period than we initially expected,” EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in London today. It “should only begin to show a significant deceleration around the end of this year, although further possible rises in the price of oil and agricultural products cannot be ruled out.”