Eurozone manufacturing recovers strongly in December

08:41, January 05, 2010      

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Manufacturing activity in the eurozone expanded at its fastest pace in 21 months in December of 2009, a survey showed on Monday, confirming a previous estimate.

The final figure for the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of eurozone manufacturing sector, published by data and research group Markit, posted 51.6 in December, up from 51.2 in November.

It was in line with the earlier flash estimate and confirmed that the index had reached its highest level since March 2008.

"The final December readings confirm that eurozone manufacturing ended the year on a positive note, with the headline PMI at a 21-month high," said Market senior economist Rob Dobson.

The PMI, a composite index based on measures of production, orders, employment, inventories and supplier performance, has signaled an improvement in manufacturing operating conditions in each of the past three months.

Figures showed expansion of output and new orders continued, but growth slower than earlier flash estimate.

Eurozone manufacturing output rose for the fifth month in a row and was at the fastest pace since September 2007. However, the final index reading was slightly below the earlier flash estimate.

December data also pointed to a fifth consecutive month-on-month increase in new orders, but the final index reading came in below the earlier flash.

Levels of new export orders improved to the greatest extent since September 2007, while employment declined for the 19th successive month in December, with job losses reported in all of the countries covered by the survey.

Stocks of both purchases and finished goods fell at similar rapid rates in December, though the falls were the smallest for 14and nine months respectively and were slower than flash estimates.

Purchasing activity rose for the third month running and to the greatest extent in almost two years.

Meanwhile, December data pointed to price pressures building in the eurozone manufacturing sector. Inflation of average input prices accelerated sharply to a 15-month high and was above the flash figure.

Source: Xinhua
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