Eurozone economy avoids further slowdown in March – Markit PMI

Chris Papadopoullos
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The Eurozone economy grew at a faster rate in March, according to survey data released this morning.

Markit's purchasing managers' index rose to a score of 53.7. It marks a small rebound from February's 12-month low of 53. It also puts the PMI further above the 50 no-change mark, which implies the economy is growing faster.

Growth was faster in both the manufacturing and service sectors.

The Eurozone economy has struggled to gain momentum following the 2008-9 recession and has been growing at a sluggish rate since mid-2013.

The European Central Bank recently ramped up its asset purchase programme to €80bn-a-month from €60bn-a-month in a bid to boost both growth and inflation. It also cut key interest rates further and offered another round of cheap lending to banks.

"The Eurozone saw renewed signs of life at the start of spring. The March PMI showed a welcome end to the worrying slowdown trend seen in the first two months of the year, putting the region on course for a 0.3 per cent expansion of GDP in the first quarter," said Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.

“The German economy looks to have expanded by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter, but France remains close to stagnation despite seeing a return to growth in March."

The survey responses also indicated prices were continuing to fall, which suggests the Eurozone's already weak inflation rate could remain subdued for some time.