Business World

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Manufacturing on rise but services down in eurozone

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

EUROZONE manufacturing continued to rise this month but the rate of expansion in the services sector declined, presenting a mixed picture on the recovery of the 17-member bloc.

And while Germany saw the largest expansion in both sectors since January, France fell to its lowest level since June.


The latest flash Purchasing Managers' Index showed that eurozone services eased to 50.9 this month from 51.6 in October, a three-month low.

By contrast, manufacturing rose fractionally to 51.5 from 51.3, reaching a 29-month high.

Chris Williamson, economist at financial information firm Markit, which compiles the data, said improvements this time around were confined largely to Germany.

"France, on the other hand, showed further signs of being the 'sick man of Europe' with output showing a renewed decline, and raising the risk that GDP could fall again in the fourth quarter, constituting a renewed recession," Mr Williamson said.

"Meanwhile, growth outside the 'big two' slowed to near stagnation."

Output in the eurozone rose for the fourth month in a row but the rate of increase was the weakest over that period.

Eurozone private sector new orders rose for the fourth consecutive month, with the rate of increase unchanged on the very modest pace seen in October.

Growth of manufacturing new orders accelerated to the strongest since August, fuelled by the largest rise in new export orders since May 2011.

However, new business expansion in the service sector slowed for the second month in a row.


Private sector employment in the eurozone fell for the 23rd month in a row with the rate of job losses accelerating marginally for the second successive month.

Staffing numbers rose for the third time in five months in Germany, but fell at the steepest rate for six months in France.

Elsewhere, the rate of job shedding eased to the second lowest seen for over two years.

Irish Independent

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