THE EUROZONE’S rising growth rate moderated in May, according to survey results published today, while consumer confidence weakened.
A survey of firms across the services, manufacturing and construction sectors – Markit’s purchasing mangers’ index – fell to a score of 53.4 in May from April’s 53.9. Scores above 50 indicate growth, with higher numbers translating to faster growth.
Meanwhile an indicator of consumer confidence compiled by the European Commission dropped to a score of minus 5.5 from April’s minus 4.6. In spite of the drop, it remains high compared to its long term average.
Despite the falls, records showed firms increased staffing levels at the fastest rate in four years, suggesting they were gaining optimism.
“There will be a lot of people disappointed that we have an easing in growth for the second month but it needs to be put in context that it is a reasonable number,” said Chris Williamson, survey compiler Markit’s chief economist. “The broader picture is that the recovery remains on track – it’s doing rather well.”