Do European Manufacturing Data Signal a Recovery?
New data show that eurozone growth in the manufacturing sector is on the rise, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Factory activity growth rose in almost every European Union member state in August, with Spain posting the first increase in two years. Italy, Ireland, Germany, and the Netherlands were among the other countries reporting gains. The only negative numbers were for France and Greece, with French factory activity numbers showing a slight decline and Greece, though in the black, posting the smallest negative in three years.
According to a report released by Markit, the Purchasing Managers’ Index for the entire eurozone finished at 51.4, the highest level it has attained in 26 months. The numbers reflected similar highs for periods of more than two years for countries like Spain, the Netherlands, and Italy. Though Greece posted a subpar score of 48.7, its statistic represents a high point going back more than three-and-a-half years. The report cited rising export rates as a sign of strength for the German economy; it also cited a decline in French exports as accounting for that country’s meager performance in the month of August.