Eurozone manufacturing sector expands at slower pace

  • World
  • Wednesday, 02 Dec 2020

BRUSSELS, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The manufacturing sector in the euro area continued to expand in November, yet at a slightly slower pace compared to the previous month, according to the economic indicators released Tuesday by the IHS Markit, a London-based global information provider.

The final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the 19-member euro area fell from 54.8 in October to 53.8 in November, but higher than the earlier flash reading released on Nov. 23.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.

Noting that the monetary union saw manufacturing output continuously growing at "a decent pace" in November, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said that the rate of expansion cooled from October's 32-month high amid new lockdown measures across Europe.

However, the sustained expansion of the manufacturing sector "should help to soften the economic blow of COVID-19 restrictions, which have hit the service sector hard," he added.

According to IHS Markit, all eurozone member states, except for the Netherlands and Ireland, saw a slowdown in their manufacturing activity in November.

Germany, the largest economy in Europe, remained the leading force behind the bloc's manufacturing power, as its PMI for manufacturing stayed at 57.8 in November.

In France, however, the manufacturing sector registered a slight contraction as the PMI fell to 49.6, hitting a six-month low.

Looking ahead, Williamson said, the upturn should gather strength again in the coming months as lockdown measures ease and spending, especially investment, picks up in response to the recent news on vaccine development.

When assessing the impact of a second round of lockdowns, Isabel Schnabel, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, has said in early November that "it is a hard blow to the services sector," noting that manufacturing is yet not being shut down while benefiting from China's strong recovery.

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