Euro-Area Manufacturing Expands More Than Estimated

Euro-area manufacturing output grew more than initially estimated in November, led by Germany, the currency bloc’s largest economy.

An index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the manufacturing industry rose to 51.6 from 51.3 in October, London-based Markit Economics said today. That’s above Markit’s initial estimate of 51.5 for November. The gauge has been above 50, indicating expansion, for five months.

“Manufacturing across the region is enjoying its best performance for two and a half years, but the pace of growth remains only modest,” Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said in today’s report. “The data suggest that output is rising at a quarterly rate of only around 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter so far.”

Euro-area economic growth slowed to 0.1 percent in the third quarter after a 0.3 percent gain in the previous three months. The economy will expand 0.2 percent this quarter and 0.3 percent in the first three months of 2014, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 22 economists.

The German factory gauge rose to a 29-month high of 52.7 in November, beating Markit’s flash estimate of 52.5, today’s report showed. The French index slipped less than estimated to 48.4, a five-month low.

“The most promising recovery signs are largely confined to northern countries, with strong growth being recorded in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria,” Williamson said. “More southerly countries continue to disappoint, though, especially France and Spain, where renewed downturns are evident.”

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