Eurozone manufacturing improves as big economies beat estimates

The Eurozone manufacturing purchasing manager's index (PMI), compiled by Markit, has risen on strong showings from Italy, France, Germany and Spain in May. Eurozone PMI improved from 47.8 to 48.3, defying expectations that the number would stay flat.

While all four still see PMIs below 50, implying that each sector continues to contract, the rises were greater than anticipated. The euro rose against the dollar on the strong data.

Markit's survey showed Spanish PMI rise from 44.7 to 48.1, a May 2011 high. Economists had expected an improvement to just 45.5. The Italian number ticked up from 45.5 to 47.3, beating a predicted gained to 46.2. France saw an improvment from 44.4 to 46.4, rather than the forecast 45.5. Germany completed the data beats with a gain from 48.1, past predictions of 49.0, to hit a May PMI of 49.4.