Eurozone growth outlook improves as producers point to a faster expansion

Chris Papadopoullos
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THE EUROZONE’S economic prospects have received a boost as survey figures published yesterday implied growth in its manufacturing industry was speeding up.

Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) climbed to a score of 52.2 for May from April’s 52 – scores above 50 point to growth.

The currency bloc’s manufacturing growth was led by Spain, whose PMI reached a 97-month high of 55.8. France’s score was 49.4, pointing to a contraction.

Economist Chris Williamson from Markit believes the improvement in the sector’s fortunes could suggest further decent growth for the Eurozone economy. It grew by 0.4 per cent in the first three months of the year, its quickest rate since 2013 and faster than the UK’s 0.3 per cent.

“The rate of growth is modest rather than spectacular, however, and there are clearly countries which continue to struggle. Weakness is centred in the region’s core, with France’s manufacturing sector still in decline and Germany only seeing very meagre growth,” Williamson said.

“On the other hand, Spain and Italy appear to be staging strong recoveries, benefitting in particular from impressive export performances. Such export gains point to improved competitiveness which bodes well for longer-term economic prospects. Manufacturers in France and Germany need to be mindful of such competition.”

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