Europe is reporting a decline in economic growth relative to last year. According to FactSet Economics,
the European Union recorded a decrease in GDP of 0.4% in Q3 2012, compared to growth of 1.4% in Q3
2011. A number of companies have stated they saw weakness in Europe (overall or in specific segments)
in the fourth quarter, or expect weakness to continue in 2013, including Illinois Tool Works, HarleyDavidson, Ford Motor, Honeywell, IBM, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Parker-Hannifin, Johnson Controls,
Alcoa, and Carnival.
“The decline in Ford Europe's fourth quarter pre-tax results was more than explained by unfavorable
volume and mix. The industry for the 19 markets Ford tracks in Europe was 13.5 million units, the lowest
quarterly SAAR since 1995.” – Ford Motor (Jan. 29)