Euro area factories end 2015 with best growth in 20 months

Manufacturing in the euro area accelerated at the fastest pace in 20 months in December as rising new orders propelled output.

A Purchasing Managers’ Index for the industry rose to 53.2 from 52.8 in November, exceeding a Dec. 16 estimate for an increase to 53.1, Markit Economics said on Monday. For the first time since April 2014, manufacturing expanded in all nations covered including Greece, according to the report.

The economic recovery in the 19-nation euro area is picking up as unprecedented stimulus by the European Central Bank is reaching companies and households. Bank lending accelerated in November in a sign of increased spending and investment, and economic confidence is at the highest level in more than four years.

“The conditions remain in place for a modest euro-zone cyclical upturn,” said Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight in London. “Much will depend on the global economic environment – and it is currently hard to see euro-zone growth really stepping up a gear.”

The euro was little changed after the report and traded at $1.0915 at 10:21 a.m. Frankfurt time.

In China, manufacturing weakened for a fifth straight month, the longest streak since 2009. The country’s benchmark stock index tumbled almost 7 percent and the yuan slumped after the report highlighting sliding exports thanks to sluggish growth abroad, and overcapacity at home. A gauge of Chinese services rose to the highest level in more than a year.

Recovery gain

“The end of 2015 saw the euro-zone manufacturing recovery gain further traction,” said Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit. “Italy remained the leading light in December, while accelerated growth in Germany and France added welcome buoyancy to the region’s manufacturing performance.”

Gauges for euro-area production, new orders and new export business all improved, according to Markit. At an average of 52.2 for all of 2015, the PMI exceeded results recorded in each of the prior three years, the London-based company said.

“While there is much to be positive about in these figures, the underlying picture is still one of solid yet unspectacular expansion,” said Dobson. “With euro-zone manufacturing still some 10 percent off its pre-crisis peak, it looks as if the sector still has some distance to travel before the climb back to full recovery is completed.”

[Bloomberg], Jana Randow


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Greek Unemployment Rates are the highest in the EU

Eurostat figures released on Friday place Greece at the top of the unemployment table within the Eurozone as well as the European Union.

Greece’s figures, which take into account data available until the month of July, show a 25% seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which translates to 1,197,000 people without a job. Spain, with an unemployment rate of 21.1% in September, is the only other EU country with more than a fifth of its population unemployed. Cyprus had the EU’s third highest unemployment rate with 15.1% in September.

The Eurozone‘s average unemployment rate is still higher than the European Union’s average unemployment rate. By September 2015 the unemployment rate for the monetary union was 10.8% while the EU had a 9.3% average unemployment rate.

Young people in Greece are also faced with the highest jobless rates. 48.6% of people between the ages of 15 and 25 who have been looking for a job within the past four weeks prior to July’s report, did not have one. That amounts to 139,000 people. Spain is a close second with an under-25 unemployment rate of 47.7%. The Eurozone’s average youth unemployment was 22.1% for September 2015 while the EU’s was 20.1% for the same month.

The figures also reveal a significant disparity between unemployment in eligible females and males in Greece. While 21.5% of eligible males were registered as not having a job, 29.4% of eligible females were unemployed in July. The gap in Greece does not reflect the extent of either the Eurozone’s or the EU’s gap, as there is a 0.2% higher unemployment rate for females in countries in the Eurozone and a 0.1% higher rate for females in countries in the EU.,  Anastassios Adamopoulos – Oct 30, 2015

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The institutions received the Greek government’s letter with proposals and prior actions on time, stated a Eurozone official, refusing however to give an estimation on the letter’s context.

According to the same official, the  European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are examining the Greek proposals and will complete their evaluation on Friday night.

The Euro Working Group will convene on Saturday at 11:00 am and a Eurogroup will follow at 4:00 pm.

He also reminded that the institutions will evaluate the Greek government’s request for a new financial aid from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) taking under consideration the Eurozone’s stability, the sustainability of the Greek debt and the real financial needs of the country in the next years.

Moreover, the institutions will evaluate the Greek proposals with the list of prior actions. If a new support program to Greece is decided at Saturday’s Eurogroup then maybe there will be no need for a Euro Summit on Sunday.

Regarding the so-called “bridge-financing” that will cover Greece’s financial needs for the next month, the same official noted that in order to start this discussion, there must be an agreement for the long-term financing of the Greek economy. He also clarified that the ESM treaty does not foresee early disbursements.

(source: ana-mpa)

A.Makris – See more at:

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