Eurozone: what does PMI tell us?
The weakness of the manufacturing sector is reflected in the services sector, as evidenced by a composite IHS Markit PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index surveys) down to 51.5 in April from 51.6 in March. Even though this figure is above its flash version that had emerged earlier at 51.3, this index is approaching dangerously the threshold of 50 that separates expansion and contraction of activity.
In detail, after manufacturing PMI for April at 44.4 for Germany, 50.0 for France, 51.8 for Spain and 49.1 for Italy (47.9 for the whole eurozone), services PMI came out at 55.7 for Germany, 50.5 for France, 53.1 for Spain and 50.4 for Italy (52.8 for the whole eurozone). After aggregation, the composite PMI was 52.2 for Germany, 50.1 for France, 52.9 for Spain and 51.3 for Italy (51.5 for the whole eurozone).
The index suggests quarterly growth of around 0.2% in the eurozone “but the manufacturing sector remains entangled in its deepest recession since 2013 and the growth of the service sector is sinking,” says Chris Williamson, head economist of IHS Markit. The Eurozone economic growth was 0.4% in the first quarter, but a Reuters survey suggests that it has slowed to 0.3% in the second quarter.
All in all, the eurozone is still suffering and cannot revive sluggish growth, particularly because of Germany in a context of weakened global demand. These factors could weigh on the fiscal budgets of the Member States throughout 2019.
Julien Moussavi, Head of Economic Research
Source: Beyond Ratings, IHS Markit