Despite warnings about the Greek debt crisis spilling over to the rest of Europe and the uncertainty surrounding Greece’s fate in the eurozone, the EU is actually in great health.
Markit’s latest PMI reading for the eurozone — a measure of whether the bloc’s economy is growing or shrinking — shows that its economy is growing at its fastest pace in 4-years.
The PMI reading for June came in at 54.2, ahead of economists’ forecasts of 54.1 and up from May’s figure of 53.6. Anything above 50 signals growth.
Last time the eurozone recorded this rate of growth it was actually decelerating, heading into recession in 2011. But as the graph below shows, Europe’s rate of growth right now is trending upwards. But we’re still a way off the growth highs of 2011, when PMI readings were in the high 50s.
Many of the Eurozone nations that were down-and-out in 2011 are now roaring back to health, which is powering growth. Ireland remained the fastest growing nation in the 28-state bloc in June, with a reading of 60.9.
Meanwhile, Europe’s powerhouses are holding pretty steady. Germany’s PMI was 53.7 in June, slightly below initial estimates, and France was at 53.3, also below initial guesses. But both are faster growth rates than those recorded in May.
Markit’s Chief Economist Chris Williamson says the Greece crisis “has so far had little discernible impact on the real economy.”
“The combination of ECB stimulus and low inflation appears to be boosting spending among consumers and businesses, offsetting ‘Grexit’ anxiety.”
But he warned Greece could impact growth if things aren’t resolved soon, saying: “With growth of new business slowing for a third month running, the survey is hinting that some risk aversion is creeping in which could hit growth in coming months if the Greek crisis is not resolved soon.”
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