Eurozone Manufacturing Round-up: Expanding at fastest rate in two years

Purchasing manager's index (PMI) paints a brighter picture for Eurozone manufacturing in July. The sector is seen to be expanding, and the only big economy to miss estimates is France.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit said:

Eurozone manufacturing made a positive start to the third quarter, with welcome signs of growth returning to the sector. The PMI rose to a two-year high, as rising export demand and stabilising domestic markets took growth of new orders and output to rates, albeit still modest, last scaled in mid-2011. This hopefully places the sector nicely to provide a positive spur to the third quarter GDP numbers and help the euro area exit recession.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist, IHS Global Insight:

Although only marginal, July’s return to growth in overall Eurozone manufacturing activity indicated by the purchasing managers’ survey supports hopes that the sector is set for a better second half to the year and will help the Eurozone to eke out some GDP growth.

The hope for manufacturers is that current rising confidence in most Eurozone countries increasingly encourages businesses to invest more, and also encourages consumers to lift their spending.

PMI for manufacturing has come in at 50.7, implying that manufacturing in the currency bloc is expanding (any number above 50 implies expansion).

That's a rise from 48.8 last month, and ahead of analyst estimates of a rise to 50.1.