Euro Region Registers Strongest Business Activity Growth in Six Years

Eurozone economic activity increased at its fastest pace in six years in April buoyed by new orders in the manufacturing and services sectors which prompted companies to hire staff at the fastest rate in almost a decade, survey data has indicated.

The flash Eurozone purchasing managers’ (PMI) composite output index, which is based on survey data from approximately 5,000 companies in the euro area manufacturing and service sectors, posted a reading of 56.7 in April, up from 56.4 in March, IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said on Friday. Readings above 50 signal expansion while those below denote contraction.

Growth rates of incoming new business and backlogs of uncompleted work both posted the the second-strongest monthly improvements in six years following a peak in March and the strength of demand helped to sustain buoyant levels of business optimism among survey respondents about the year ahead.

By Stephen Holmes