Survey suggests eurozone economy set for robust year
by Associated Press
LONDONJan 07, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Associated Press
Jan 07, 2016 12:00 am
The eurozone's economy is poised for a year of "robust expansion" following its best quarterly performance in four and a half years, a closely watched survey indicated Wednesday.
Financial information company Markit said its purchasing managers' index a measure of activity across the manufacturing and services sectors rose to a four-month high of 54.3 points in December from 54.2 the previous month. That monthly growth rounded off the best quarterly performance since the middle of 2011, according to Markit. "The eurozone economy starts 2016 on a solid footing and well placed to enjoy a year of robust expansion," Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson said.
Despite the findings, he said the eurozone economy is still not running on all cylinders. Overall growth in 2015 is only expected to be around 1.5 percent and France. In December, France barely grew at all its PMI survey reading was 50.1, just ahead of the 50 threshold that marks expansion and contraction. "Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland are all enjoying strong expansions, but France is showing signs of stalling once again," he said, adding that a rebound in France is needed to help drive growth for the region as a whole.
Still, Williamson said he was encouraged to see firms in many countries in the eurozone taking on staff in increased numbers. The eurozone economy has been recovering for over two years now but it has failed to pick up much momentum. Over recent months, the outlook has gotten a little bit murkier, largely because of developments in China, where growth has been moderating. Inflation in the eurozone has also been very low and even negative at times, raising concerns that consumers may put off spending in anticipation of lower prices ahead and that businesses may fail to invest and innovate.