Eurozone manufacturing is at a 31-month high according to Markit. Every country but France and Greece are expanding. French manufacturing is at a seven-month low in an intensified downturn.
The seasonally adjusted Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI® rose for the third month running to post 52.7 in December, up from 51.6 in November (and unchanged from the earlier flash estimate).
The latest improvement in overall operating conditions was underpinned by solid and accelerated growth in the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and Italy, while Austria continued to expand at a robust clip despite the rate of increase easing slightly since November. Meanwhile the Spanish PMI moved back into expansion territory. There was even relatively positive news from Greece, where higher levels of output and new orders elevated its PMI to a 52-month high and close to the 50.0 stabilisation point. France moved in the opposite direction, however, with its PMI falling to a seven - month low and signalling contraction for the twenty-second successive month.
Chief Economist Comment
Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson
"While Germany, Italy and Spain are seeing the strongest output growth since early - 2011, buoyed to varying degrees by improved export sales, France is seeing a steepening downturn, in part the result of widening export losses. This suggest s that competitiveness is a key issue which the French manufacturing sector needs to address to catch up with its peers."