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Euro zone manufacturing boosted by weak euro

Manufacturing activity across the euro zone accelerated faster than expected
Manufacturing activity across the euro zone accelerated faster than expected

Growth of the euro zone manufacturing production accelerated to a ten-month high in March while the weak Euro boosts exports, according to business survey.

The release by Markit’s final March manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) shows that the manufacturing sector had reached a 10-month high of 52.2. It has been above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction for 21 consecutive months.

“The final PMI reading signalled slightly stronger growth of the manufacturing economy than the preliminary reading, adding further to signs that the euro zone economy is reviving after last year’s slowdown,” said Chief Economist at Markit, Chris Williams.

The top performers in March were Ireland and Spain with PMI figures of 56.8 and 54.3. However, growth also improved in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. France, Greece and Austria were also covered by the survey but saw their PMI figures below the neutral 50.0 mark.

Manufacturing employment rose for the seventh successive month in March. This strengthening performance by the manufacturing sector enabled companies to raise employment at the quickest pace for over three-and-a-half years.

March saw the sharpest increase in new export orders since April 2014. Companies reported that the weaker euro was the main factor driving new export orders higher.

“Producers are benefitting from the weaker euro, which has had the dual effect of boosting competitiveness in export markets as well as making competing imports more expensive in the home markets,” said Williamson.

SASKIA VALLENDAR - Deputy-News-Editor

Recent graduate with a degree in journalism and cultural studies. Her interested lie in business and financial journalism.                                  Twitter: @saskiavallender

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