Bert Colijn, senior economist at ING, notes that the Eurozone PMI increased from 51 to 51.4 in February.
“The consumer confidence and the ZEW Index were already better than expected, and now the PMI increased in February. This does not mean that growth worries are over as the manufacturing output index dropped to below 50, signalling contraction for Eurozone industry for the first time in almost six years.”
“New orders for manufacturing decreased even faster than in January. The contrast with the service sector that saw the activity index increase from 51.2 to 52.3 could hardly be larger. Service sector businesses increased the pace of hiring in February and became significantly more optimistic about the outlook.”
“On the other hand, the jump in the French PMI to 49.9 is cause for modest optimism as the disruptive impact of the yellow vest protests on the business economy seems to be fading.”