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Latest Economic Data

PMI, UK and Euro-zone, November 2013:  The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the UK increased again in November and the reading of 58.4 is its highest level since February 2011.  The UK PMI has now signalled expansion for 8 consecutive months with the rate of growth in production and new orders at or near to 19-year highs!  Although the figures are not published, Markit report that the upturn is broad based with all of the sub-sectors covered by the survey showing expansion.

In the euro-zone the PMI reading was 51.6, marginally up on the October figure reaching a level not seen since June 2011.  Production, new orders and new export business all increased for the fifth consecutive month, but employment continues to fall.  Strong growth was indicated in the PMI readings for the Netherlands and Austria and Germany, Italy and Ireland were all in positive territory.  There is some concern however about Spain which slipped back below 50 for the first time in 6 months and France which had a PMI of 48.4, the lowest of the euro-zone countries and which has not managed to get above the 50 level since early in 2011.

Elsewhere in the world, the picture is mixed, although there clear patterns in some regions.  Both the USA and Canada had strong readings, with the US figure bouncing back from the October reading which was affected by the Government shutdown;  the figure for Mexico improved, but the Brazilian PMI fell back just below the 50 level.  In Asia, India moved into positive territory and both Japan and Taiwan recorded another strong PMI, but Korea and China were stable at a fraction above 50.  Most of the major non-euro-zone countries in Europe had PMI readings that were significantly positive, but Russia fell back into negative territory.

All of the Markit PMI reports for major economies around the world are available from their web-site at

European GDP, 3rd Quarter 2013:  The second estimate from Eurostat shows that GDP in the euro-zone was +0.1% higher than in the 2nd quarter of the year, with the EU28 as a whole recording growth of +0.2%.  Compared to a year ago, GDP fell by -0.4% in the euro-zone but grew by +0.1% for the EU28.

With data now available for all but 3 of the EU member states (and Greece which does not publish quarter-on-quarter growth rates - note that Greece would probably also be in recession), only Italy and Cyprus were still in recession, with France and the Czech Republic seeing GDP fall in the 3rd quarter following an increase in Q2.

For comparison, Switzerland and Japan both had a quarter-on-quarter growth rate of +0.5%, with the US economy expanding by +0.7%;  compared to the level a year ago, these three countries recorded growth rates of +1.9%, +2.6% and +1.6% respectively.

More information can be obtained from the Eurostat News release which is available on their web-site or can be requested from MTA.

European Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI), November 2013:  The European Commission’s ESI for the euro-zone rose to 98.5 in November and the reading for the EU as a whole improved to 102.1.  It is significant that after being almost identical since the bottom of the recession early in 2009, the ESI for the EU as a whole has moved significantly ahead of that for the euro-zone since July 2013.

The November report also includes a summary of the bi-annual industrial investment survey;  this suggests that total real investment in the manufacturing sector in the euro-zone will fall by -3% in 2013, but that managers expect growth of +3% in 2014.  Across the EU as a whole, it is expected to be unchanged in 2013 with growth of +4% for next year.  There are also questions on the factors which influence investment and the structure of investment (whether it is for replacement, extension of rationalisation) which are broken down by country.

You can get the full set of results from the European Commission web-site or request them from MTA.

CELIMO Quarterly Trends Survey, 3rd quarter 2014:  CELIMO is the European organisation for associations representing distributors and importers of manufacturing technology.  Their latest survey points to a marginal increase in business compared both to the previous quarter and the same position a year ago.  The trends are mixed with a reasonably even spread of responses indicating growth, stability or contraction in the level of business.  If you would like a copy of the report, please contact Geoff Noon at MTA (e-mail