Factories ramped up output at the fastest monthly pace in over 23 years, countering a continuing slowdown in the currency bloc’s dominant services industry, which is far more vulnerable to lockdowns and the region’s slow vaccine rollout.
IHS Markit’s flash composite PMI, seen as a good guide to economic health, bounced above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction, to 52.5 in March compared to February’s 48.8, its highest since late 2018.
Even the most optimistic respondent in a Reuters poll had forecast it would rise to 51.0, while the median predicted only a modest increase to 49.1.
“March’s rise in the euro zone composite PMI pushed it back above the 50 mark for the first time in six months, but the recent tightening of restrictions in a number of countries suggests that the improvement will not be sustained,” said Jessica Hinds at Capital Economics. Read more