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ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK:

PMI, UK and Euro-zone, November 2014:  The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the UK moved up slightly in November to a 4-month high of 53.5 (from 53.3 in October).  Job creation in the sector accelerated and there was a solid expansion rate for both output and new orders.  However, the domestic market is still the main driver of the upturn with new export orders falling as exporters faced a combination of a relatively strong exchange rate and subdued global market conditions.  The improvement in output is broadly based, both across the various sub-sectors and by size of company.

The picture in the euro-zone is rather less positive, although the overall index just managed to stay in positive territory at 50.1 (October - 50.6).  There was strong growth in Ireland, Spain and Netherlands, but Germany dipped below the crucial 50 level (49.5) for the first time in 17 months, Italy was unchanged at 49.0 and France hit a 3-month low of 48.4.  This downward drift in activity is caused by slower output growth and falling levels of new orders;  this trend is repeated in most of the countries with, for example, German export orders falling for the first time since July 2013;  however, the 3 countries with positive trends, plus Italy, saw solid growth in export orders.

Elsewhere in the world, the PMI readings for all 3 North American countries are significantly strong., although Canada (55.3) was at the same level as in October and the USA saw a fall from the previous month, but still stood at 54.8.  The star in Asia was India where the index rose to 53.3, with Japan also registering a reasonable level of growth at 52.0, although this figure was down on the October reading (52.4).  In Europe, both the Czech Republic (55.6 from 54.4) and Poland (53.2 from 51.2) saw a significant strengthening of their already positive trends.  Interestingly, the Czech report highlighted an acceleration in export orders from a range of markets, including Germany, which contrasts somewhat with the report for the latter country.

All of the Markit PMI reports for major economies around the world are available from their web-site at http://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/Page.mvc/PressReleases.

European GDP, 3rd Quarter 2014:  The 2nd estimate of growth compiled by Eurostat shows that the euro-zone economy grew by +0.2% compared to the previous quarter and was +0.8% larger than a year earlier;  for the EU28 as a whole, the economy had a quarter-on-quarter growth rate of +0.3%, giving an annualised rate of +1.3%.

There were 3 countries, Austria, Cyprus and Italy, which saw their economies contract in the 3rd quarter of the year and the latter two of these also saw a decline in the previous quarter which puts them in recession - there are 4 other countries for whom the data is not available, including Croatia which is another candidate for being in recession.  Looking at the annualised rate, there are 5 countries with a growth rate of +3% or more - Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania and the UK.

You can download the Eurostat News Release from their web-site at http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/ or request it from MTA.

CECIMO Statistical Toolbox, November 2014:  The latest edition of the CECIMO Toolbox includes the results of the CECIMO Business Climate Barometer for October as well as the usual round-up of the latest economic data for Europe.  The Barometer reflects the weakness in Europe that we have seen in the PMI numbers, although this data, like many other series, is characterised by smaller positives rather than an absolute downturn.  So, for example, the balance for the question about the business situation was +18% compared to +47% in the July survey and the balance for export orders was +3%, down from +18% in the summer.

If you would like a copy of the CECIMO Toolbox, please contact Geoff Noon at MTA (e-mail:  gnoon@mta.org.uk).