Euroland Purchasing Manager Indices

April 23, 2009

The knock against Euroland has been that the intensity of its recession, unlike America’s, has not begun to lessen.  Preliminary purchasing manager survey results released today provide the most convincing evidence to date that the downturn in Euroland will be less severe in the second quarter than in 4Q08 and the first quarter of 2009.  Not only were the composite, manufacturing, and service-sector readings higher in April than in March, but they were also above the mean scores for all three months in the first quarter.  The leading economic index for Belgium compiled by that country’s central bank exhibited similar characteristics, and French business sentiment recorded an unexpectedly large three-point monthly advance to 71 in April.  Because Belgium is Euroland’s most trade-reliant economy, Belgian trends act as a barometer for the whole region.  The table below compares April readings to March and to the January-through-March averages.  PMI indices below 50 denote contraction. 

  April March 1Q09
EA-Composite 40.5 38.3 37.6
EA-Mfg 36.7 33.9 33.9
EA-Services 43.1 40.9 40.8
Germany-Composite 39.7 38.3 37.5
Germany-Mfg 35.0 32.4 32.2
Germany-Services 43.5 42.3 42.9
France-Composite 43.5 41.4 40.5
France-Mfg 40.0 36.5 36.4
France-Services 46.2 43.6 42.1
Belgian LEI -29.4 -31.8 -30.3
Belgian mfg -30.7 -34.3 -31.9
Belgian Services -35.7 -39.7 -38.5

Copyright 2009 Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.



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