Growth gap between Europe and Asia widens

Ben Southwood
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THE ECONOMIC gulf between Europe and many fast-growing emerging markets widened in November, data for the service sector revealed yesterday.

Eurozone members suffered further declines in business activity in services, according to business surveys from Markit and HSBC, just as services firms in China, India, Russia and the UAE raced ahead.

The Eurozone services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) increased to 46.7 in November, from 46 in October, Markit said. Despite the increase the sector is still in decline, as any number below 50 indicates contraction.

But one nugget of positive news for the currency bloc was the increase in the index for economic powerhouse Germany, bringing it to 49.7, which indicates only very slight contraction during the month.

Meanwhile, China’s services PMI jumped from 50.5 in October to 51.6 in November, while India’s climbed from 53.2 in October to 53.5 in November, while business activity also increased significantly in Russia and the UAE, despite small falls in their PMIs.
Japan also saw growth, actually managing to improve its PMI from 50 in October to 51.4 in November.