Mubasher: The eurozone manufacturing sector ended 2020 on a high note, with activity growing at its fastest pace in the last three years, a survey showed on Monday.
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) advanced to 55.2 in December from 53.8 in November, slightly lower than the previous 55.5 flash reading. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below that signals contraction.
“The economy consequently looks set to be hit by the pandemic in the fourth quarter far less than the unprecedented decline in the second quarter thanks to the resilience of manufacturing,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.
Germany led the growth in the bloc again, expanding to 58.3 from 57.8 in November, the highest rate in about three years. The Netherlands and Ireland also registered strong expansion, the fastest rates in two years and five months, respectively.
New export orders grew significantly thanks to high increases in export sales reported by the Netherlands and Germany.
Business expectations for the coming 12 months are at the highest in about three years, which “suggests that momentum can be sustained in 2021,” Williamson added.
“Rising virus case numbers are nevertheless likely to mean trading conditions remain challenging in the near-term and therefore constrain growth.”