Tuesday 24 October 2017

Manufacturing and services growth slips

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

After a strong September, the pace of growth in European manufacturing and services output slipped this month.

Research firm Markit's Flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 51.5 in October from 52.2 in September.

The index measures business activity on a simple scale either side of 50. A figure above 50 indicates growth and a number below 50 shows a decline in activity. The results are based on a mass survey of business managers.

In Germany, factory output continued a positive trend, but the services industry recorded a slip in the pace of growth. In France however, manufacturing activity is in decline and the services sector is growing, but only barely.

Despite declining since September, the latest data shows the eurozone is in positive territory.

"There are signs the recovery is broad-based. It's pretty much in line with what the European Central Bank has been expecting to see – it's a slow, uneven and fragile recovery," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

Meanwhile, in China, strong new orders drove the fastest manufacturing expansion in seven months, preliminary results of a PMI survey showed. Its the latest evidence the Chinese economy is stabilising.

The Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) stood at 50.9 in October, above September's 50.2 and marking a seven-month high.

According to a statement by HSBC analyst Qu Hongbin: "This momentum is likely to continue in the coming months, creating favourable conditions for speeding up structural reforms."

Irish Independent

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