It’s flash PMI day in Europe, meaning we’re getting an early estimate for growth in February.
The purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from Markit are given as a number between 0 and 100. Anything above 50 signals growth, while anything below means a contraction in activity — so the higher the better.
This morning we’ll get an early sign of how Germany and France are doing individually, alongside the eurozone as a whole. The numbers are the first growth figures to be released since ECB president Mario Draghi announced a cut in all of the bank’s key rates, as well as an extended programme of bond buying.
First up, France at 8:00 a.m GMT (4:00 a.m. ET). France’s economy actually saw a contraction in February, with the final composite figure reading just 49.3, with manufacturing sliding at 49.5, and the services sector slowing, with a reading of 49.2.
- Manufacturing output: 50.8, up from 49.5 in February, and a three month high.
- Services activity: 51.2, up from 49.2 in February, to a five month high.
- Composite output: 51.1, another five month high and up from 49.3 in February.
Here’s what Jack Kennedy, one of Markit’s senior economists said:
The French private sector economy ended the first quarter on a more positive note, reversing the dip in output seen during February. The latest data showed broad-based output growth across the manufacturing and service sectors, alongside strengthening optimism among service providers.
Now that data from France is out we’ll get a reading from Germany at 8:30 a.m. GMT (4:30 a.m. ET) and the crucial eurozone figure at 9:00 a.m. GMT (5:00 a.m ET).