Eurozone Manufacturing Activity Accelerates for First Time in Three Months

Employment in manufacturing rose for the sixth month running

Signals of manufacturing production across the 16 countries in the eurozone accelerated for the first time for three months in October, a closely watched survey showed on Nov. 2.

After an 11-month low point for output growth in September, the final eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers' index produced by London-based Markit hit 54.6 points, half a point up from the first estimate and well up on 53.7 the previous month.

However, the researchers said that national disparities remained of concern, with Greece the only nation not to signal expansion of activity.

Readings for Spain and Ireland rose back above the neutral 50.0 mark, and employment in manufacturing rose for the sixth month running -- although job creation was centred on Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said that the spike compared to the estimate implied that growth picked up at the start of the fourth quarter, boosted by rising export sales.

Nevertheless, he said the recovery has "moved down a gear" and he highlighted minimal rises in production for the Netherlands, Ireland and Spain, compared to the strong growth in Germany, France and Italy.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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