Europe's Economy Looks Like the Weak Link in Global Expansion

(Bloomberg) -- Europe’s economy is looking like the weak link in the global expansion after a slowdown in the first quarter.

The OECD said on Monday that its composite leading indicators show “signs of easing growth momentum” in the euro area as a whole and its three biggest economies -- Germany, France and Italy.

In comparison, the 35-member OECD area and the U.S. show “stable” growth and China’s index points to “tentative signs” of the economy gaining speed.

The figures come amid a debate over whether Europe’s slowdown at the start of the year was temporary and due to snow and storm disruption or will prove more persistent. First-quarter GDP data for Germany will be published on Tuesday, along with a second estimate for the euro zone as a whole.

European Central Bank officials aren’t yet expressing worries about the economic outlook. Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau told Bloomberg Television on Monday that while the expansion isn’t accelerating from 2017’s best-in-a-decade pace, it “remains at a very solid level with broad based growth.”

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