LONDON (ICIS)--The eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) ended 2017 at a “series-record high”, according to IHS Markit on Tuesday, with a score of 60.6 recorded in December, in line with an earlier flash estimate.
Strong rates of expansion in output, new orders and employment were the main drivers behind the manufacturing PMI reaching its highest level since the survey began in mid-1997, IHS said.
The PMI was up from 60.1 in November. A reading above 50.0 signifies economic expansion while a reading below 50.0 points to a contraction.
“The eurozone manufacturing boom gained further momentum in December, rounding off the best year on record and setting the scene for a strong start to 2018,” said chief business economist at IHS Markit, Chris Williamson.
“The final PMI was in line with the earlier flash number, confirming a record monthly improvement in business conditions at the end of 2017.
“Forward-looking indicators bode well for the New Year: new orders rose at a near-record pace, while purchasing growth hit a new peak as firms readied themselves for higher production. Meanwhile, job creation was maintained at November’s record pace.”
In the eurozone’s largest economies, manufacturing PMI in December was 55.8 in Spain, 57.4 in Italy, 58.8 in France, and an all-time high of 63.3 in Germany.
“The average PMI reading for 2017 is the highest annual trend in the survey’s two-decade history, with eurozone countries dominating the worldwide PMI growth rankings for much of 2017,” Williamson added.
“Record years were seen in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Ireland, while Italy and France had their best annual performances since 2000. Spanish manufacturing had its best year since 2006, while Greece saw the strongest performance since 2008.”