The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a key measure of manufacturing activity in eurozone countries, was 53.2 in December 2015, above the earlier flash estimate of 53.1, according to Markit, a leading global provider of financial information services.
The average PMI reading of 52.8 for the final quarter in the eurozone was the best growth outcome since the first quarter of 2014, while the average for 2015 as a whole (52.2) was better than those achieved in each of the prior three years.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 represents contraction.
Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit estimated that the manufacturing sector is “likely to make a meaningful positive contribution to the euro GDP numbers for quarter four.”
However, price pressure remained on the downside during the latest survey month, with December seeing input costs and output charges both decrease further.
With the Greek PMI edging back above 50.0, December saw PMI readings in all of 19-member states at levels signaling expansion for the first time since April 2014, the survey showed.
Among other member states, Italy remained the leading light in December, while accelerated growth in Germany and France added welcome buoyancy to the region’s manufacturing performance.
“While there is much to be positive about in these figures, the underlying picture is still one of solid yet unspectacular expansion,” Dobson said.
But, he emphasized that, “with eurozone manufacturing still some 9 percent off its pre-crisis peak, it looks as if the sector still has some distance to travel before the climb back to full recovery is completed.” Enditem