‘The eurozone economy moved up a gear in February. The rise in the flash PMI to its highest since April 2011 means that GDP growth of 0.6% could be seen in the first quarter if this pace of expansion is sustained into March.’ – Chris Williamson, IHS Markit
Data released on Tuesday showed economic activity in the Euro zone perked up over the month of February, nearing a six-year high. The Markit flash PMI for the shared currency area hit the highest level in 70 months, surging to 56.0 in February from 54.4 registered in the preceding month and beating analysts’ expectations for a 54.3 reading. Sufficient growth was registered in both services and manufacturing, with expansion in the latter sector outpacing services growth rate. More specifically, the manufacturing PMI climbed to 55.5 over the course of February compared with the previously reported 55.2, while experts penciled in a reading of 55.0. For the services industry, the purchasing managers’ index rose to 55.6, up from 53.7 observed in January. The gain came in ahead of market expectations for the index to stay unchanged from the previous month. Separately, Germany and France released their business activity figures, with the composite PMIs in the abovementioned countries jumping to 56.2 and 56.1 respectively. Elsewhere in the common currency area, economic activity growth rate peaked to a 14-month high.