Eurozone growth hopes reinforced by strong survey

Euro jumps after better than expected French and German economy data

The index, well above the 50 boom-and-bust line, suggested that the Eurozone economy ended the third quarter on a strong note, with growth of business activity picking up to its highest since May to register one of the strongest gains seen over the past six years. Meanwhile, the composite index - which measures activity in both manufacturing and services - rose to 54.6 from 55.3 in August. Companies in the services sector slowed some, while manufacturing growth ticked up, IHS Markit wrote in flash results released Friday, Sept. 22, but overall private sector growth increased strongly.

"The eurozone economy ended the summer with a burst of activity, with the PMI signalling renewed impetus to already-impressive rates of growth of output, order books and employment during September".

While PMI data will embolden policymakers, as inflation is set to rise only gradually markets are overestimating how soon the European Central Bank will raise interest rates, Stephen Brown, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

The PMI pointed to third-quarter growth of 0.7 per cent, IHS Markit said, faster than the median forecast in a Reuters poll last week for 0.5 per cent. The gauge on incoming new business rose to 55.6.

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Data showed that rates of expansion in France and Germany accelerated to the highest seen for over six years in September.

The IHS Markit composite purchasing managers' index (PMI) revealed that manufacturers in the region had their best month since early 2011. An index measuring output rose to a 61/2-year high of 59.5 from 58.3. The euro gained 0.4 per cent to US$1.1989, on track to end the week higher. The factory PMI climbed to 56.0 from 55.8 in the previous month.

"Firms are scrambling to expand capacity as fast as possible to meet order-book growth and rising backlogs is presenting them with huge problems", said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.


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