Hope for Eurozone as private sector order book hits 18-month high

Suzie Neuwirth

MANUFACTURING and services orders in the Eurozone expanded for the first time since January 2012, according to new data released today.

The Markit Purchasing Managers’ composite index – which measures the outlook of the manufacturing and services industry - hit 50.4 in July, up from 48.7 in June. A figure above 50 denotes growth rather than contraction.

“The best PMI reading for one-and-a-half years provides encouraging evidence to suggest that the euro area could at long last pull out of its recession in the third quarter,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

“The survey data will…provide a summer fillip to policymakers, especially in terms of there being light at the end of the tunnel for austerity-hit periphery countries where political and social tensions have risen.

“The ECB in particular will be feeling much more confident in its expectation of the region returning to growth by the end of the year.”