EU natural gas prices at lowest level since August 2021
EU natural gas prices at lowest level since August 2021

22 January 2024 – European natural gas prices have continued to fall significantly recently due to the mild winter and high inventories and are at their lowest level since August 2021. And US consumer confidence and economic expectations for 2024 have jumped by over 20% year-on-year. Recipe for success in Europe too?

EU natural gas prices at lowest level since August 2021

European prices for natural gas for delivery on the Dutch TTF futures exchange have almost halved since October 2023. Despite the onset of winter, prices fell to their lowest level since August. This is due to the fact that natural gas storage facilities in the EU are still full despite the onset of winter. Their fill level was recently over 79%.

Natural Gas EU Dutch TTF (EUR/MWh)
Natural Gas EU Dutch TTF (EUR/MWh) – Graph by steelnews.biz

Europe is also expected to have a sufficient supply of natural gas on the markets in the medium term: At around EUR 32 per megawatt hour, natural gas for delivery in a year’s time is quoted as low as it was last in August 2021 before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.

US consumers remain in good mood

US consumers are still in a good mood – as the latest data suggests. Retail sales were higher than expected in December. The number of weekly initial jobless claims fell to its lowest level in 16 months.

US consumer confidence rises by more than 21%

The University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index rose unexpectedly sharply from 69.7 to 78.8 points – the highest level since mid-2021 and the fifth-highest monthly increase since the index was calculated.

Current economic expectations also jumped by 21.6% points year-on-year to 83.3 points. Compared to the previous month, expectations improved by almost 14%.

Europe needs leadership again

While the US economy is receiving clear support from the population and they are showing a significant increase in confidence in 2024, this is where we see Europe’s real problem: the eternal pessimists who continue to undermine the lack of confidence and talk everything down.

What Europe urgently needs now are two things: More trust again and real heads of character with strong leadership in politics and business.

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