Eurozone manufacturing in strong finish to the year

Manufacturing companies across the eurozone ended 2015 on a positive note, with the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the region showing a reading of 53.2 for December against 52.8 a month earlier. A reading of above 50 indicates expansion and below 50 contraction.

For individual countries the December reading for Italy was particularly strong, with the figure of 55.6 the best since late 2010, while Ireland recorded a five-month high of 54.2. Greece edged back into growth after 19 months of contraction, with a reading of 50.2.

Germany’s PMI for December was 53.2 against 52.9 a month earlier, while France edged up to 51.4, the country’s best figure for 21 months. Although again positive, the UK PMI for December of 51.9 disappointed the markets and was down from 52.5 in November.

“Eurozone manufacturers are currently getting appreciable help from very low oil and commodity prices, which is boosting their ability to price competitively to win business,” said economist Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight.

“In addition, a weak euro is boosting eurozone manufacturers’ competitiveness in international markets, so they will be hoping that the euro does not rise any further after firming to currently trade close to $1.09 from a seven-month low of $1.055 earlier in December.”


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