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Bert Colijn, senior economist at ING, notes that the Eurozone’s composite PMI declined from 51.9 to 51.3 in March, which gives little hope of growth recovery in the first quarter.

Key Quotes

“Businesses continue to indicate that new orders have weakened, which mainly stems from export orders declining at a worrying pace. Factors such as the trade conflict between the US and China, possible tariffs on the auto sector and Brexit impact global growth and weigh on new orders coming in. Employment growth slowed on the back of this as businesses see output grow at a weaker pace.”

“The decline in the German PMI is worrisome as it indicates that the bottom has not yet been found. While services are holding up nicely, the manufacturing downturn is deepening, according to the German manufacturing PMI.”

“The downturn in France indicates that the Q1 bounce back from the ‘yellow vest’ disruptions may be more limited than initially thought.”

“Today’s PMI indicates that GDP growth is unlikely to have bounced back in Q1.”