October saw the rate of expansion in Eurozone manufacturing production accelerate for the first time in three months. Output growth improved from September’s eleven-month low, reflecting faster increases in the majority of the nations covered. However, national disparities remained, with the rates of expansion of the big-three nations and Austria much stronger than those seen elsewhere.
At 54.6 in October, up from September’s eight-month low of 53.7, the Markit Final Eurozone Manufacturing PMI™ was above its earlier flash estimate of 54.1 and also up on the average for the current 13-month period of improvement (54.3).
PMIs signalled expansion in almost all of the nations covered. The only exception was Greece, where the rate of deterioration accelerated. Readings for Spain and Ireland rose back above the neutral 50.0 mark after dipping below in September.
Manufacturing output and new orders rose for the fifteenth successive month in October. Rates of increase improved from the lows seen in September and were well above the earlier flash estimates. The investment and intermediate goods sectors continued to lead the recovery, whereas the consumer sector remained a brake on growth.
Part of the improved flow of new orders reflected stronger gains in new export business in October. Growth of new export orders was the fastest in three months. Rates of increase accelerated in each of the big-four economies and also in the Netherlands and Ireland (following a slight drop in Ireland during September). The level of new export orders received in Greece fell at a slower pace.
Sector data suggested that new orders and new export orders both rose at the sharpest rates in the investment goods sector, possibly reflecting the relative strength of the corporate sector compared to households. In contrast, consumer goods new orders failed to rise for the first time in 11 months, accompanied by a decline in new export orders.
Manufacturing employment rose for the sixth month running in October, with the rate of jobs growth the fastest since March 2008.