Eurozone: Business activity loses momentum slightly in April
April 22, 2016
Recent data suggest that business activity in the Euro area started the second quarter on soft footing. The preliminary Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), elaborated by Markit, inched down from a revised 53.1 in March (previously reported: 53.7) to 53.0 in April. The result undershot market analysts’ expectations of a 53.3 reading.
The fall in April reflected a downturn in services growth, despite an uptick in the manufacturing sector. Markit noted that growth started the second quarter on weaker footing than was seen in the first quarter. Lackluster rises were recorded in employment and new orders, while expectations about future business activity in the services sector was broadly unchanged. Meanwhile, input prices increased for the first time in four months, although modestly.
Regarding the two largest Eurozone economies, the Composite PMI in Germany fell to a nine-month low amid weak activity in services. However, France’s Composite PMI improved and returned to expansionary territory in April. Elsewhere in the region, the rate of growth in business activity fell to an over-one-year low.