22 November 2012 13:28 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Manufacturing output levels in France and Germany stabilised slightly in November, with industries in both countries posting their strongest performances in several months, financial information group Markit Economics said on Thursday.
The latest flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for Germany for November stood at 46.8, a two-month high, while France’s manufacturing PMI stood at its strongest in three months at 44.7, according to Markit.
Manufacturing PMI levels for both countries were still below the 50.0 mark, which is the watermark for an expanding market. Readings of below 50.0 indicate a contraction.
The news comes as leaders from each of the 27 EU member states gather in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the union’s next seven-year budget, beginning in 2014.
Commenting on the German PMI results, Markit senior economist Tim Moore said: “The picture emerging from November’s survey is that the German economy will end the year with a whimper rather than a bang, as troubles in the eurozone continue to weigh on domestic businesses and consumer confidence.
“There was a slightly less unfavourable pattern in the manufacturing sector, as production and new orders dropped at slower rates, which some firms linked to support from non-eurozone exports,” he added.
Stronger manufacturing activity will be welcome in France following the downgrade of the country’s triple-A sovereign rating to AA1 by Moody’s earlier this week, but GDP figures for the fourth quarter of the year are likely to be bleak, according to Jack Kennedy, another senior Markit economist.
He said: “Although the decline in business activity eased a touch in November, the overall picture remains weak with new orders showing another sharp reduction. French GDP posted a surprising 0.2% gain in Q3 [the third quarter], but growth looks unlikely to be sustained in Q4 [the fourth quarter].”
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