The eurozone manufacturing upturn gained further momentum during November, with rates of expansion in production and new orders the fastest for around one-and-a-half years. Growth was broad-based by country, with output and new business inflows improving in almost all of the nations covered (the exception being Greece).
At 52.8 in November, the final seasonally adjusted Eurozone Manufacturing PMI® matched its earlier flash estimate and posted its highest level since April 2014. The PMI has now remained above the no-change mark of 50.0 for 29 straight months. PMI readings posted in expansion territory in almost all of the nations covered by the survey, with the best growth outcomes signalled for Italy, the Netherlands and Ireland.
Although Germany and Spain only populated the mid-range of the PMI ranking table, rates of expansion edged higher in both of these nations. Austria slipped to sixth position, just ahead of France which recorded only a slight improvement in operating conditions. Greece stayed at the foot of the table and was again the only nation to register contraction. However, the Greek PMI stands well above its record low of 30.2 registered in July, as recent sharp easing in the rates of decline in output, new orders and employment have taken its PMI up to an eight-month high of 48.1.
The latest expansion of eurozone manufacturing production was underpinned by improving inflows of new business and the steepest intake of new export orders* since May. New export business rose in Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Austria, with rates of growth strengthening in all but the latter two of those nations. France and Greece saw new export business decrease.
Eurozone manufacturing employment rose for the fifteenth successive month in November, with the rate of jobs growth ticking to its highest since August. Companies generally linked increased staffing levels to improved new order inflows and higher backlogs of work. Manufacturing workforce numbers were raised in Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria and Ireland. In contrast, France and Greece lowered employment during the latest survey month, although rates of reduction were only marginal and slower than in October in both cases.
Price pressures remained on the downside during November, with output charges and input costs both falling further. However, indices tracking both price measures moved higher, suggesting that the respective rates of deflation eased since October. With the exception of Greece (which saw accelerated cost inflation) all of the nations covered by the survey saw input prices fall further in November (albeit at slower rates). On the output charge side, only Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands saw increases in selling prices.
*Including intra-eurozone trade.