Europe appears to be posting data that finally suggests a sustained rise in economic conditions in the region. The latest Markit Flash Eurozone PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) tracked at 53.2, down a fraction from the 32-month high (53.3) posted last month. Updated, more detailed figures are expected to trickle in during the next week or two, but the Flash numbers looked promising.
German activity was somewhat off, though it remains the inarguable driver on the continent. The number two economy, France, was particularly lauded for finally getting back on track and showing signs of stability that are anything but fleeting. There was also another rise in both output and new orders within key, large economies like Italy and Spain. For the latter, it marks the fourth consecutive increase in both categories and provide continued needed optimism for a nation that in recent years saw unemployment rates near 25%.
This isn’t to say all is well economically. Several nations and its businesses are bouncing back from a harrowing low, face high debt issues that seem to be continually spotlighted by US-based credit ratings agencies and remain unsure just how much the Ukraine-Russia dispute will affect growth. Still, comparatively, conditions have not been so bright in the EU as a whole at any point during this decade.
- Brian Shappell, CBA, CICP, NACM staff writer
Look for NACM’s coverage roundup of Markit PMI statistics and analysis from more than a dozen key countries in the April 3 edition of eNews at www.nacm.org.