The Eurozone manufacturing sector’s rapid expansion continued in October, driven by a boom in demand for German goods as economies reopened, a survey has shown.
However, the manufacturing growth comes against a backdrop of a slowdown in the services sector as coronavirus cases rise and governments impose new restrictions.
The IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.8 in October. That was up from 53.7 in September and above the initial estimate of 54.4. A score above 50 indicates expansion.
Manufacturing production grew for the fourth month in a row, notching up the fastest growth for two-and-a-half years. New orders grew at a similar pace.
Germany was the best-performing country. Its PMI gauge hit its highest level for more than two-and-a-half years. Austria and Italy also saw strong growth, with the latter hitting a 31-month high.
However, there was a regional divide, with growth “modest” in France and “marginal” in both the Netherlands and Ireland.
“Eurozone manufacturing boomed in October, with output and order books growing at rates rarely exceeded over the past two decades,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.
“However, while the data bode well for production during the fourth quarter, the expansion is worryingly uneven.
Williamson said Germany was the winner “by a wide margin”. He said its factories reported a record expansion as “orders for autos, business equipment and machinery have surged”.