Eurozone: Eurozone PMI jumps to highest level in 7 months
February 20, 2015
The flash estimate of the Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index came in at 53.5 in February. The result was above the revised 52.6 recorded in January (previously reported: 52.2) and overshot the 53.0 that market analysts had expected. The result marked a third consecutive improvement in the composite PMI—the result of a survey of over 5,000 manufacturing and services businesses. The index—which sits now at its highest level in 7 months—rose further above the 50-threshold that signals an acceleration in economic activity.
February’s strong reading was driven by an improvement in both the manufacturing and services sectors, particularly the services sector, whose index picked up to the highest level in seven months. According to Markit, growth in business activity accelerated for a third consecutive month and new orders jumped also to a seven-month high. Markit added that forward-looking indicators pointed to an upturn in economic activity going forward: business activity expectations for the next 12 months jumped to the highest level since May 2011 in the services sector and the new-orders to inventories ratio in manufacturing rose to a seven-month peak.
Markit concluded that, “February’s PMI surveys paint an upbeat picture of improving eurozone economic health. Undeterred by the ongoing Greek debt crisis, economic growth is gathering momentum and looks set to gain further traction in coming months. The economy is on course to grow by at least 0.3% in the first quarter, assuming March doesn’t disappoint.”
At a country level, Germany’s composite PMI rose from a revised 53.5 in January (previously reported: 52.6) to 54.3 in February, which represents the highest level since July 2014. France’s composite PMI swung from a revised 49.3 in January (previous estimate: 49.5) to 52.2 in February, which marked the highest level in over three years. Excluding Germany and France, the composite PMI for all the other countries in the region rose over the previous month.