186 views

"Encouragingly solid": Eurozone manufacturing ticks up in September

Emma Haslett
Follow Emma
A man works on a compressors production
The bloc's manufacturing sector has increased in strength in recent months (Source: Getty)

The Eurozone's manufacturing sector ticked up to hit a three-month high in September, new figures have shown.

Yep, fresh from the news prices in the bloc rose at their fastest pace in two years in September, Markit's purchasing managers' index for the industry showed similarly encouraging signs, hitting 52.6, up from 51.7 in August. Any figure above 50 denotes an expansion in the sector.

Of the eight nations covered by the survey, six experienced growth in their manufacturing sectors: Germany led the way, with a reading of 54.3 - a three-month high. That was followed by Austria, at 53.5 and the Netherlands, at 53.4.

Read more: The new sick man of Europe is the continent's entire banking sector

Meanwhile, France and Greece both showed contractions - with readings of 49.7 and 49.2 respectively. Although France's reading beat expectations, as well as hitting a seven-month high. Every cloud...

Part of the sector's success was thanks to new export growth, which not only rose for the 39th month in a row - but also experienced the steepest rise since April 2014.

However, Markit said one of the most encouraging signs was an increase in employment - job creation was registered for the 25th consecutive month, with the pace of growth improving on August. In fact, staffing levels rose in six of the eight nations covered (France and Ireland were the odd ones out).

“The key message from the September survey is that the euro area’s manufacturing economy continues to expand at an encouragingly solid pace," said Chris Williamson, IHS Markit's chief business economist.

"The PMI points to production rising at a steady two per cent annual pace in the third quarter, with momentum picking up in September.

“Production gains are being driven by welcome signs of improving demand from both within the region and from wider export markets.

”For a region beleaguered by still-high overall unemployment, the fact that the upturn is generating more jobs is especially good news. The latest rise in factory payroll numbers was one of the best seen over the past four years."

Related articles