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Financial News: Eurozone Private Sector Nears To Stabilization

Eurozone Private Sector Nears To Stabilization

03/21/2024 - 08:00:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The euro area economy moved closer to stabilization in March as services activity expanded for the second month and the decline in manufacturing output softened, flash results from S&P Global purchasing managers' survey showed on Thursday. The composite output index rose more than expected to 49.9 in March from 49.2 in the previous month. The score was seen at 49.7.

Although the reading was below 50.0 for the tenth straight month, March's decline was only marginal and the smallest since last June.

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, registered 45.7 in March, down from 46.5 a month ago. Economists had forecast the index to climb to 47.0.

At the same time, the services PMI hit 51.1, up from 50.2 in February. The reading was forecast to advance to 50.5.

Order books declined at a slower pace and business confidence about the year ahead improved to a 13-month high.

Supplier delivery times at goods producers continued to improve after the initial Red Sea related delays seen at the start of the year, which resulted in further fall in manufacturing input prices.

However, service sector input cost and selling price inflation remained elevated by historical standards due to higher wage costs.

However, a cooling in the pace of increase in cost burdens was recorded to take some pressure off overall selling price inflation, the survey showed.

The PMI survey suggested that ongoing declines in output in France and Germany offset a gathering upturn in the rest of the Eurozone to point to an uneven economic picture.

By country, output declined sharply in Germany. Nonetheless, the headline HCOB flash composite output index rose to a three-month high of 47.4 in March from 46.3 in the previous month. The reading was seen at 47.0.

At 49.8, the services PMI hit a six-month high, up from 48.3 a month ago. The expected reading was 48.8.

On the other hand, the manufacturing PMI unexpectedly fell to a five-month low of 41.6 from 42.5 in the prior month. The reading was expected to climb to 43.1.

France's private sector activity contracted further at the end of the first quarter on faster fall in output and demand.

The HCOB composite output index slid to 47.7 in March from a nine-month high of 48.1 in February. Economists had forecast the reading to improve to 48.6.

Although the decline was faster than in February, the drop was the second-slowest over the current ten-month downturn.

The services PMI dropped unexpectedly to 47.8 from 48.4 in the previous month. The score was seen at 48.7.

Likewise, the manufacturing index fell to 45.8, down from 47.1 a month ago. The reading was expected to rise to 47.5.

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