Eurozone PMI at 32-month high, manufacturing lifts UK index

03 February 2014 14:17 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--The eurozone manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in January was at a 32-month high on the back of strengthening economic activity in the region led by Germany, while the Greek index moved back into expansion territory, financial services firm Markit said on Monday.

The PMI tracks variables such as sales, employment, inventories and prices. PMI scores of above 50.0 indicate growth.

The eurozone manufacturing PMI stood at 54.0 in January, up from 52.7 in December, thanks to Germany’s performance, which index grew from 54.3 points in December to 56.5 in January, also a 32-month high. 

Markit said the growth in Germany was due to the highest growth in output and new orders for almost three years, strengthening demand from foreign markets and employment levels increasing.

A downturn in France showed signs of easing with its manufacturing PMI standing at 49.3 in January, up from 47.0 points in December, as new orders, output, employment and stocks of purchases declined at slower rates.

Data also showed that for the first time in four and a half years, Greece’s PMI has gone above the 50 points barrier. In January, the country’s index stood at 51.2, up from 49.6 points in December.

“Perhaps the most important development in the report is the further revival of manufacturing in the region’s periphery,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

“Both Italy [53.1] and Spain [52.2] are seeing robust growth of output and order books, and the Greek PMI’s rise above 50 for the first time since August 2009 is an important signal of how even the most troubled member states are returning to growth,” he added.

Meanwhile, the UK’s PMI saw a decrease in January (from 57.2 points to 56.7), but Markit said the headline index has signalled an improvement in operating conditions in each of the past ten months, and it remains above the average for the period.

Markit

By Jonathan Lopez