The Reuters Eurozone Composite Output Index rose to 51.3 in February, up from 49.8 in January. The monthly index monitors economic conditions across the eight Eurozone nations (Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Austria and the Netherlands)
Key findings for February were:
Although the rate of expansion was only slight, February’s survey represents a marked turnround from the situation of sharply falling activity witnessed throughout the final quarter of 2001. The increase was triggered by growth in both the Eurozone manufacturing and service sectors.
• New Business
The Composite New Business Index recorded an increase in overall levels of new business for the first time in eleven months. New orders in both the Eurozone manufacturing and service sectors grew very marginally during the month.
Despite output and new orders rising modestly, the Composite Employment Index (which tends to act as a lagging indicator) signalled a further fall in overall staffing levels in February. While service sector employment increased for the first time in five months, this was offset by another significant contraction of employment within the manufacturing sector.
• Input Prices
Finally, the Composite Input Prices Index signalled a rise in input prices for the second month running.
In a separate sector of the report, the Business Activity Index rose in February for the second successive month, up from 51.0 to 51.5. Although still modest, this represents the highest rate of expansion of activity since August 2001.
Data sourced from: NTC Research; additional content by WARC staff