Survey suggests eurozone set for 'robust expansion'

LONDON -- The 19-country eurozone economy is poised for a year of "robust expansion" following its best quarterly performance in 4-1/2 years, a closely watched survey indicated Wednesday.

See Full Article

Financial information company Markit said its purchasing managers' index -- a broad gauge of activity across the manufacturing and services sectors -- rose to a four-month high of 54.3 points in December from 54.2 the previous month. That, according to Markit, monthly growth rounded off the best quarterly performance since the middle of 2011.

"The eurozone economy starts 2016 on a solid footing and well placed to enjoy a year of robust expansion," Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson said.

Despite the survey's rosy signals, Williamson said the eurozone economy is still not running on all cylinders. Overall growth in 2015 is only expected to be around 1.5 per cent and France, Europe's second-largest economy, continues to lag. In December, France barely grew at all -- its PMI was 50.1, just ahead of the 50 threshold that marks expansion and contraction.

"Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland are all enjoying strong expansions, but France is showing signs of stalling once again," he said. "A rebound in France is needed to help drive a strong year of growth for the region as a whole."

Still, Williamson said he was particularly encouraged to see firms in many countries in the eurozone taking on staff in increased numbers, "suggesting that businesses are preparing for stronger demand in the coming year by boosting capacity."

The eurozone economy has been recovering for over two years now but it has failed to pick up much momentum -- growth over the past year or so has been stuck in a narrow range between 0.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent on a quarterly basis despite some positive headwinds such as low oil prices, a big monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank and a weaker euro.

Over recent months, the outlook has gotten a little bit murkier, largely because of developments in China, where growth has been moderating. Inflation in the eurozone has also been very low and even negative at times, raising concerns that consumers may put off spending in anticipation of lower prices ahead and that businesses may fail to invest and innovate.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • PepsiCo makes biggest public pre-order of Tesla Semis: 100 trucks

    Economic CBC News
    PepsiCo Inc. has reserved 100 of Tesla Inc.'s new electric Semi trucks, the largest known order of the big rig, as the maker of Mountain Dew soda and Doritos chips seeks to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions, a company executive said on Tuesday. Source
  • MTY Food Group signs deal to buy Imvescor Restaurant Group for $248 million

    Economic CBC News
    MTY Food Group Inc. is growing beyond the shopping mall food court with a $248-million stock-and-cash deal to buy Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc. and its full-service restaurant and grocery products businesses. The friendly deal will bring together such MTY banners as Thai Express, Vanellis and Manchu Wok with Imvescor's Baton Rouge, Pizza Delight and Scores restaurants to create a company with a portfolio of over 5,700 stores under 75 brands. Source
  • Iceland closes gender gap but violence against women remains

    Economic CTV News
    REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- For nine years in a row, the World Economic Forum has ranked Iceland as having the world's smallest gender-equality gap, and for about as long gender studies professor Gyda Margret Petursdottir has been asked how the Nordic island nation became such a paradise for women. Source
  • Lyft ride-hailing app arrives in Toronto, marking its first expansion outside U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ride-hailing service Lyft will be available in Toronto starting today. Torontonians can download the Lyft app to being ordering rides in the city. The company's arrival in Toronto marks the first time it has expanded outside the US. Source
  • Bombardier signs deal to sell Aventra trains in U.K.

    Economic CTV News
    BERLIN - Bombardier Transportation (TSX:BBD.B) has signed a deal to supply 333 new rail cars, along with a contract for maintenance work, with a U.K. rail company. Corelink Rail Infrastructure and West Midlands Trains will receive 333 new Bombardier Aventra vehicles for use on the United Kingdom's West Midlands Trains franchise. Source
  • Ride-hailing service Lyft expands outside U.S. for 1st time to take on Uber in Canada

    Economic CBC News
    Starting today, Torontonians will have another option to get around the city. Lyft has launched outside the U.S. for the first time, putting pressure on Uber for a share of the ride-hailing market. Other Canadian cities are in Lyft's sight as the company, Uber's main rival in the U.S. Source
  • Cost of child care up by 20% in some cities since 2014, report finds

    Economic CBC News
    The cost of child care is rising quickly in Canada, in some cities increasing by as much as 20 per cent from three years ago and more than 10 per cent in most of Canada. Source
  • Toronto leads country in child-care fees, but costs rising almost everywhere

    Economic CBC News
    The cost of child care is rising quickly in Canada, in some cities increasing by as much as 20 per cent from three years ago and more than 10 per cent in most of Canada. Source
  • World shares retreat ahead of Fed interest rate decision

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO -- Shares were mostly lower in Europe and Asia on Tuesday as investors retreated ahead of the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates. KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX fell 0.2 per cent to 13,099.40 and the CAC 40 of France lost 0.5 per cent to 5,362.83. Source
  • Health care and materials lead the way on Toronto market, loonie lower

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The health care and materials sectors helped boost Canada's main stock index in late-morning trading as the loonie lost ground. The S&P/TSX composite index was up 24.83 points to 16,128.34, after 90 minutes of trading. Source