1058 GMT August 20, 2018
Italy experienced the strongest growth in its manufacturing sector in close to seven years, business sentiment in the industry in France hit a record high, and the headline reading for Germany remained ‘buoyant’, according to the January IHS Markit purchasing managers’ indices for the single currency area’s three largest economies, FT reported.
“The eurozone’s manufacturing boom continued in full swing in January,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit. “Output grew at one of the fastest rates recorded over the survey’s 20-year history, matched by a further near-record surge in new orders.”
But while the headline readings for both Italy and France came in ahead of analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters’ polls, Germany — which has been the engine of the region’s recent boom — missed estimates by a whisker.
Although, like Spain, both France and Germany saw a slight slowdown from December’s highs, the indices remain at historically very high levels indicating that conditions in the sector are robust.
France posted a headline reading for January of 58.4 down from 58.8 in December, Germany 61.1 down from 63.3 and Italy — bucking the trend — improved from 57.4 to 59. Overall, the eurozone figure was 59.6, in line with flash estimates but down just a notch from December’s final reading of 60.6. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.