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Financial News: Eurozone Private Sector Growth Gains Momentum

Eurozone Private Sector Growth Gains Momentum

11/23/2017 - 06:17:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Eurozone private sector showed signs of growth momentum picking up in the fourth quarter with production, demand and employment hitting multi-year highs.

The headline composite output index increased to 57.5 in November from 56.0 in October, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

This was the highest reading since April 2011 and any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector. The score was forecast to remain unchanged at 56.0.

Growth kicked higher in November to put the currency bloc on course for its best quarter since the start of 2011, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.

The PMI reading signaled a 0.8 percent increase in GDP in the final quarter of 2017, which would round-off the best year for a decade, Williamson noted.

All in all, there are no signs of stopping the Eurozone economy at the moment and 2018 is likely to start on a strong footing, Bert Colijn, an ING Bank economist said.

Even the return of political uncertainty and a fading of ambitious Eurozone reform plans have not had much impact on businesses, despite optimism about the coming year subsiding slightly in November, the economist added.

The overall upturn was again led by manufacturing, where the headline PMI rose to a level beaten only once, in April 2000. At the same time, services activity expanded the most since May.

The euro area flash factory Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 60.0 in November from 58.5 a month ago. The expected level was 58.2.

Similarly, the services PMI came in at 56.2 in November versus 55.0 in October. Economists had forecast the score to rise slightly to 55.2.

Overall business activity and prices rose at the steepest rates for over six years in the region. Inflows of new orders showed the largest gain since February 2011.

Employment showed the strongest rise since October 2000, with a record gain in factory jobs.

On the price front, input prices registered the largest monthly jump since May 2011, while average selling prices for goods and services rose to the greatest extent since June 2011.

Looking at the data by country, growth surged in France to the highest since May 2011, outpacing Germany for only the fourth time in over five years.

France's private sector expanded at the fastest pace in six-and-a-half years in November. The composite output index rose unexpectedly to 60.1 in November from 57.4 in October. The expected score was 57.2.

The increase in output remained broad-based across both the manufacturing and services sub-sectors. The services PMI climbed to 60.2 in November from 57.3 in the previous month. The reading was forecast to fall to 57.0.

Likewise, the factory PMI came in at 57.5, up from 56.1 a month ago and above the consensus of 55.

In Germany, the private sector growth improved by a pick-up in performance in the manufacturing sector. The flash composite PMI climbed more-than-expected to 57.6 from 56.6. The expected reading was 56.7.

The factory PMI rose to an 81-month high of 62.5 from 60.6 in October. The services PMI came in at 54.9 versus 54.7 a month ago.

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