The Eurozone manufacturing activity logged a record expansion in April, albeit at a slower than previously estimated pace, final data from IHS Markit showed on Monday.
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index improved to 62.9 in April from 62.5 in March. The flash reading was 63.3.
This was the highest level since June 1997 and the sector has expanded for the tenth straight month.
The past two months have seen output and order books both improve at rates unsurpassed since the survey began in 1997, with surging demand boosted by economies opening up from COVID-19 lockdowns and brightening prospects for the year ahead, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit said.
Driven by rising market confidence, manufacturing output and new orders remained close to March’s survey records. Manufacturers and clients anticipate a sharp rise in activity over the coming months, as restrictions related to COVID-19 are relaxed.
Companies added to their workforce numbers, increasing payroll numbers for a third successive month. Product shortages subsequently helped to drive input prices up at a rate beaten only once in the survey history. Consequently, producers raised their charges to the strongest level in over 18 years of data availability.
Growth momentum was seen across most member countries in April. Germany’s manufacturing sector continued to post a historically strong growth in April.
The headline IHS Markit/BME final manufacturing PMI came in at 66.2, down slightly from March’s record high of 66.6 but still the second-highest reading since the start of data collection in 1996. The flash score was 66.4.
The French manufacturing sector expanded sharply in April driven by robust output and new orders. The final factory PMI fell to 58.9 in April from 59.3 in March and was below the flash score of 59.2.
Italy’s manufacturing activity expanded at the strongest pace on record. The PMI improved to 60.7 in April from 59.8 in the previous month.
Spain’s manufacturing sector grew the most since December 1999. The corresponding PMI advanced to 57.7 from 56.9 in the previous month.